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Arshavin Joins Zenit on Loan till Summer

© RIA Novosti . Grigori Sisoyev / Go to the photo bank Andrei Arshavin
 Andrei Arshavin - Sputnik International
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Russia international Andrei Arshavin has returned to his former club Zenit St. Petersburg on loan from Arsenal to get regular playing time ahead of Euro 2012.

Russia international Andrei Arshavin has returned to his former club Zenit St. Petersburg on loan from Arsenal to get regular playing time ahead of Euro 2012.

The deal was struck minutes before the midnight Russian transfer deadline Friday, according to both clubs' websites, and foresees the 30-year-old forward remain with Zenit until the end of the season.

"I moved to Zenit. On loan, will play under number 29," Arshavin said on his personal website.

Arshavin has been in poor form this season and was dropped to the Arsenal reserves this week.

Regular top-level play is crucial for Arshavin because Russia coach Dick Advocaat is seeking to build his Euro 2012 squad around him. He has been called up for next week's friendly against Denmark, one of at least four warm-up games for the tournament, which starts in June.

Arshavin joined Arsenal in 2009 from Zenit, where he was part of the team that won the 2008 UEFA Cup.

Now, Zenit are top of the Russian Premier League, six points clear of CSKA Moscow. The season resumes next weekend with the top two clashing in Moscow, where Arshavin is expected to start.

He will be unable to assist Zenit, however, in their Champions League campaign, already having played in the competition for the Gunners this season.

Zenit face Benfica in the second leg of their last-16 tie on March 6.

The reigning Russian champions beat Benfica 3-2 in St. Petersburg earlier this month to take a slender advantage into the return fixture in Lisbon.

Arshavin has scored 30 goals in 133 competitive matches for Arsenal.

His brightest moment in English football to date was scoring four goals against Liverpool at Anfield in April 2009.

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