London, Sep 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti): Russian forward Andrei Arshavin has been left out of Arsenal‘s 18-man squad for Tuesday’s Champions League football opener against Montpellier in France.
Arshavin has been frozen out of the Arsenal first team for almost a year and a proposed transfer move to his old club Zenit St. Petersburg has yet to materialise.
His place in the squad has been taken by French midfielder Abou Diaby, who returns after injury.
“Abou Diaby missed Saturday’s win over Southampton but is fit to face Montpellier,” the club’s website said. “He replaces … Arshavin in the 18-man party.”
Arshavin’s career is at an all-time low after being left out of Fabio Capello’s Russia team for the opening World Cup qualifying victories over Northern Ireland and Israel earlier this month.
The 31-year-old playmaker has been linked with a slew of English Premier League clubs as well as Turkish side Galatasaray in recent weeks, but will not be able to move to any European club until the winter transfer window opens in January.
His contract at the Emirates expires in June.