Arshavin warns he could leave Arsenal

Andrei Arshavin has warned Arsenal that he may be forced to leave the club due to being “glued to the bench.”

The 30-year-old has seen his position as an automatic first choice come under threat following the summer arrival of Gervinho and the improving form of Theo Walcott.

The diminutive Russian, who arrived in England on the final day of the winter transfer window in 2009, has admitted he has been ‘average’ during his time at Emirates Stadium.

After wowing Premier League crowds in his first season with the Gunners, including an incredible four-goal salvo at Anfield, the Russia captain has seen that form gradually desert him.

“Right now I don’t think about changing clubs. If I will be benched for a very long time, then such an issue might be relevant,” he told Russian daily Sport Express.

“I still want to play for 90 minutes but right now I am glued to the bench.”

Having been captain of Zenit St Petersburg during a 10-year period with the club, joining a Russian rival is something he’s not considering.

“I wouldn’t like to play for a Russian club other than Zenit, and there were no contacts with Anzhi [Makhachkala],” he added.

And Arshavin is in no rush to try and force the manager's hand when it comes to team affairs, claiming Wenger will not back down after making his mind up.

“Wenger is a very strict manager. He always gladly helps when there are difficulties off the pitch but nobody even thinks of talking him into changes when it comes to football issues," he said. "The answer is obvious to everyone.”

By Harry Dillon