Redknapp: Arshavin to shine in saviour role

Former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes Arsenal forward Andriy Arshavin will play a major role for the Gunners in 2009/10, especially when the side are in need of a hero.

The 28-year-old joined the Emirates Stadium outfit from Zenit St Petersburg at the beginning of February for £15 million, and enjoyed an explosive start to his Premier League career, bagging seven assists and six goals in 12 league appearances, including four against Liverpool at Anfield.

And Sky Sports pundit Redknapp has admitted he did not expect the diminutive playmaker to adapt to English football so rapidly.

“It usually takes a player one year maybe two years to get used to the Premier League but it took him a couple of weeks,” he said.

“He had an instant impact and is a sensational player.

“He is small and has a low centre of gravity. He is a very good mover and in the game where he scored four goals against Liverpool he was just incredible.

“I think he touched the ball four times all game but scored four incredible goals.

“But that is what he can do, he has that unique ability to be at the right place at the right time and he can smash the ball off either foot.”

Redknapp is in no doubt that the Russian will shine again in his first full season in North London.

And the former Southampton man expects Arshavin's qualities to shine through, particularly when Arsene Wenger's side are in difficult situations and need a saviour.

“He is playing in a team that will have difficulties at times,” he said.

“They will have to stick together and he will need to lead the team by demanding the ball and hopefully drag them through the rougher bits.”

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