Sunday, August 7, 2011



Zirkov has left Chelsea, returning to his homeland to sign for Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala.

The move brings to an end a two-year stay. Chelsea Football Club thanks the player for his contribution during that time.

Zhirkov joined Chelsea in July 2009, moving from CSKA Moscow.

A knee injury prevented his debut until late September when the Russian international played 60 minutes in a 1-0 win over QPR in the Carling Cup.

Injury to Ashley Cole and the good form of other attacking players meant he was seen more often at left-back in his first season than the more forward left-wing role he could also take on.

The player himself admitted there was a struggle as he adapted to a new country and a new club, and a season out of sync in the calendar with the one he was playing before.

However he impressed in games as 2010 began, creating goals and figuring regularly when others were at the African Cup of Nations, but he was unfortunate to suffer an injury of his own soon after Cole was ruled out for two months.

Zhirkov returned for a highlight of his Chelsea career when Aston Villa were hosted at the Bridge in March 2010.

Given free rein to attack, Zhirkov was twice brought down for penalties and supplied a pinpoint cross for Florent Malouda to volley home the goal of the game. Chelsea won 7-1.

Cole's return to fitness in late April meant Zhirkov featured less in the run-in to the League and FA Cup double triumph, and he was again only a periphery figure as 2010/11 began.

Playing in central midfield, he did grab a first Chelsea goal in his homeland, crashing in an unstoppable 25-yard half-volley against Spartak Moscow in October. That began a run of seven starts in a row but he lost his place after a heavy 3-0 home defeat against Sunderland.

It was nearly four months before he began a game again as an injury took a long time to heal and his last start came in the home Champions League defeat by Manchester United.

In total Zhirkov made 32 starts and 17 substitute appearances.
Andre Villas-Boas after the Rangers game said: 'In the end it was moistly his [Zhirkov's] decision. It was a great financial offer for him, it is a return home for him.'

No comments:

Post a Comment