Arsenal: Where will Andrei Arshavin be playing in February?
Andrei Arshavin was expected to be Arsenal's saviour when he joined the club in 2009. Arsene Wenger shelled out £15 million for the Zenit St Petersburg ace and everyone at the Emirates was excited about his arrival. Unfortunately Arshavin has failed to hit the heights his talent deserved and is on the verge of being farmed out this month, but who will win the race for the diminutive Russian?
Arshavin has found game time hard over the past few seasons. He has made just two starts for Arsenal this campaign and come on as sub in a further eight games. Arshavin also only has one goal to his name - against Coventry in a 6-1 home win in the League Cup.
It's clear to see that Wenger doesn't rate Arshavin any more. To be honest, most people were surprised he even started the season at Arsenal after making just 13 starts in 2011/12 campaign and scoring only twice.
Some Arsenal fans have berated the Russian due to the lack of effort he puts in on the pitch. When he loses the ball his first thought isn't "let's win that back" it's "ah the defence will bail me out." Unfortunately, even Arsenal cannot afford to carry luxury players. Everyone needs to pull in the right direction.
However, there are fans who feel sorry for the 31 year old. They believe Arshavin has not been deployed in his rightful position and has thus been wasting his talents at the club. If he is played behind the front man Arshavin, as he proved in the European Championship, can run games and tear defences ragged.
Everyone remembers Arshavin's four-midable night at Anfield and most people believe he can still deliver on the big stage, which is why his next move could be so crucial.
Reading, who are currently struggling to get out of the bottom three, are reportedly leading the race for the Russian's signature. They desperately need an injection of skill, experience and creativity and Arshavin ticks every box. If deployed in the right way Arshavin could well roll back the years and give the Royals a chance of beating the drop at the same time.
But Reading are not the only Premier League side interested in his talents. Fulham are also said to be in the running to secure him on a short-term loan. Martin Jol has been a long-term admirer of Arshavin and would love to finally work with him. Jol, the former Spurs boss, has a knack of getting the best out of older players and a team with Arshavin, Berbatov, Ruiz and Duff would threaten most defences. A move to Fulham would probably suit Arshavin best as he would remain in the capital and would be playing with a talented crop of players.
Arshavin could, however, decide to ply his trade again aboard with Galatasary, former employers Zenit and Anzhi Makhachkala after his signature. But the smart money is on him remaining in the Premier League.
QPR, who have just released Kieron Dyer, and West Ham, who have just taken Chamakh to the East End, are in with a shout, as are, reportedly, Everton, Newcastle, Sunderland and West Brom.
Arsenal are said to be in dire need of freeing up some cash in order to make a bid for Barcelona's David Villa, although that move may have been scuppered by the Barcelona president who says Villa is not for sale yet.
However, Wenger may believe that the squad needs some fresh blood in order to reinvigorate the troops and the money saved from Arshavin's wages could go to making life at the Emirates very interesting.
Here is the latest betting odds on who Arshavin will be playing for once the window shuts.
Zenit St Petersburg 12/1
Anzhi Makhachkala 16/1
West Ham 25/1
West Brom 33/1
Odds from BetVictor
Calling all Arsenal fans: Where do you think Arshavin will be playing his football once the transfer window slams shut? How would you assess Arshavin's time at the Emirates? Would you like to see Wenger give him one last try in first team? Why do you think Arshavin has fallen out of favour with the manager? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.