Ex-Arsenal midfielder Andrey Arshavin says that it was mentally challenging for him to stay in London - and also revealed that he nearly suffered from depression during the latter stages of his spell at the Emirates Stadium.

The Russian midfielder has been released by Arsenal this summer after spending four-years at the club and he has now agreed a two-year deal with ex-club Zenit St Petersburg.

Arshavin burst onto the footballing scene when he set the 2008 European Championships alight with Russia, and soon after that he agreed to join Premier League side Arsenal for a club record fee of £15m.

His career at Arsenal started strongly and it reached it's highest point when the little Russian scored four goals away at Liverpool during an epic 4-4 encounter. 

He then popped up again when he scored the winner against FC Barcelona in the Champions League but, after that, it was all downhill for the Russian.

He struggled to break into the first-team and was mainly used as a substitute until eventually he was dropped from the squad completely.

Talking to Sports Express, Arshavin admitted that it was tough to stay at Arsenal - and was eventually left with little choice but to leave.

"The fact is I didn’t want to stay in England, this was clear since January," Arshavin told Sport Express. "I don’t regret anything, but I had to leave.

"It was a punishment sat on the bench. To train even though you know you won’t play – it is psychologically difficult.

"I nearly suffered depression, but I didn’t because I’m mentally strong. The monotony of life there was crushing me.’


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