Advocaat: Time for Arshavin to leave Zenit

MADRID - Striker Andrei Arshavin should be allowed to leave Zenit St Petersburg and pursue his career at a big European club, coach Dick Advocaat said. The Russian international, one of the top performers at Euro 2008, has been linked with several clubs including Real Madrid, who beat Zenit 3-0 at the Bernabeu in their Champions League Group H match on Wednesday. Arshavin had a disappointing first half and Advocaat explained that he had insisted on playing despite suffering from fever and had to be replaced at the break. Advocaat said if players such as Arshavin wanted to leave Zenit it was better for the team to let them go. "Sometimes you have to give players of that quality a chance to show themselves in Europe and I think it's the right time for Andrei to do that," he said. Asked whether it was inevitable that the best players would leave successful Russian clubs like Zenit for bigger clubs in Europe, Advocaat said it was the price of success. Zenit won the UEFA Cup last season and went on to defeat Champions League winners Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup at the end of August. "If you can play in Europe and you get a good offer then players will go," he said. "There's no doubt about that."