Arsenal star Andrei Arshavin should reject a rumored move to big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala because of the gulf in class between the English and Russian leagues, former Manchester United winger Andrei Kanchelskis said Tuesday.
Since former Russia coach Guus Hiddink was named Anzhi coach last week, speculation has mounted that Arshavin may seek to join up with his former national team coach before the Russian transfer window closes Friday.
"[A transfer] doesn't suit him at all. How can you go from the English Premier League to our championship, which is on a different level," Kanchelskis told Russian newspaper Sovetsky Sport.
"Playing in England, Arshavin gets satisfaction, there's a different atmosphere there, different pitches, different fans. We can't boast any of that," he added.
Arshavin was dropped to the Arsenal reserves on Tuesday after struggling to keep a first-team place due to a string of mediocre performances.
Kanchelskis said that Arshavin's demotion offered a chance for him to get out of a rut.
"When you're not getting match practice, then you absolutely have to pull yourself together, change the atmosphere, play for the second team," he said.
He now needs to prove, both to himself and the coaching staff, that this decision was wrong. But on the other hand, Andrei needs to pull himself together, so that this change of scenery doesn't handicap him further.
Arshavin has in the past suggested that any return to his homeland would only be to his former club Zenit St. Petersburg, from whom he joined the Gunners in 2008.
Arshavin was an unused substitute for manager Arsene Wenger in last week's Champions League 4-0 away defeat to AC Milan.
He has scored 30 goals in 133 games for Arsenal. He won the 2008 UEFA Cup with Zenit and took Russia to third place at the 2008 European championships, under Hiddink.
During his time in Britain, Kanchelskis became the only player to score in the Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow derbies, and won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup with Manchester United.
He is now manager of ambitious Russian third-tier site FC Ufa.