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Arshavin gets U.K. work visa, set for Tottenham clash


MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti - Andrei Arshavin received on Friday a U.K. work visa and will fly into London later in the day, the Russian daily Sport Express said.

Arshavin earlier said that he had submitted the appropriate documents and would take the "first flight" to the British capital as soon as the visa was processed.

The player returned to Russia to apply for a U.K. work visa after a deal to bring him to Arsenal from Zenit St. Petersburg was hammered out at the beginning of this week. The visa process usually takes 10 days, but the English club asked the British Foreign Office to speed up the procedure.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen to see Arshavin at least on the bench for Sunday's encounter with north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and the player was likewise eager to get to work.

"I want to get to my new club as soon as possible," the Russian international told the paper.

The on-off deal to bring Arshavin to Arsenal looked to be off again as the transfer window closed at 17:00 GMT on Monday and there was still no news. Media reports then said that a last-minute deal had been clinched to make Arshavin an Arsenal player until June 2012. However, Arsenal only made an official announcement on Tuesday, and questions were asked as to the validity of the deal.

The issue was subsequently discussed at a meeting of Premier League chairman on Thursday, and a League spokesman said that all 20 clubs in the top league of English soccer were satisfied that the deal had gone through according to regulations.

The Russian season ended in November, and Arshavin's last match was a Champions League game against Real Madrid on December 10. His lack of match fitness means he is unlikely to start on Sunday, but he may be brought on a substitute.

If he does make an appearance, he will face Roman Pavlyuchenko, Russia's only other representative in the Premier League. Pavlyuchenko signed for Tottenham from Spartak Moscow in August and has scored 12 goals in 26 matches.

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