Arshavin's reputation as Russia's most famous player and one of world football's leading talents has been questioned as he drifted out of the picture at Arsenal, but on his day the Russian remains a force to be reckoned with.
The forward made his debut for Zenit in an Intertoto Cup fixture against Bradford City in 2000 and gradually became one of the most influential players in his home country, scoring a catalogue of spectacular goals. His wider reputation grew rapidly thanks to some remarkable performances en route to Zenit title win of 2007 and UEFA Cup victory in 2008, but it was Euro 2008 that would launch him into the football stratosphere.
Suspended for Russia's opening two games, Arshavin exploded in their final group fixture against Sweden and then orchestrated a 3-1 victory against Netherlands in the quarter-finals, scoring the final goal in extra-time. It was a brilliant performance, and although he could not replicate those heroics as Russia lost to Spain in the semi-finals, Arshavin attracted offers from Barcelona and Tottenham before Zenit's financial demands ended the prospect of a transfer.
Six months later, and following some tough negotiations, he joined Arsenal in a £15 million record deal and became a fans' favourite thanks to his four-goal haul against Liverpool in April. His first half-season in English football - which delivered six goals and five assists in his first 12 games - promised so much, but he soon showed his other side and, amid criticism over his committment, he returned to Zenit on loan in 2012 with one eye on the summer's European Championships.
Strengths: Arshavin is quite brilliant with the ball at his feet and possess a penchant for the spectacular. Strong with either foot, he possesses an unerring finish and has expert vision and the ability to find team-mates with ease. His clever movement makes him a tough opponent.
Weaknesses: His negative body language can lead to accusations that Arshavin is a lazy player and all too often he drifts in and out of games without leaving his mark. Technically brilliant, his weak spot is his application and mentality.
Career high: A scintillating four-goal haul at Anfield in April 2009 that confirmed Arshavin as a bone fide Premier League superstar.
Career low: His disappointing performance as Russia were defeated by Slovenia in a play-off to miss out on reaching the 2010 World Cup finals.
Style: Elusive, explosive, intelligent, a unique forward.
Quotes: "Arshavin likes the big stage. He can be quiet for 20 minutes, and then suddenly turn up with something decisive. That is what you want from the big players - the big players make you win the big games." Arsene Wenger on his record signing.
Trivia: Arshavin once studied for a fashion diploma but to say he is in touch with his feminine side would be extreme. In fact, he has previously called for women drivers to be banned from the road.