Arsenal’s Hleb: Shevchenko too old for the Premiership

The 25-year-old Gunners midfielder said: “I would never have risked coming to England towards the end of my career. The older you get, the harder it gets. Shevchenko is not the first great footballer who has not managed to crown himself in glory here.

“I was never convinced he would be able to play in England. I don’t have anything against him. I respect him and rate him as a player.

“The problem lies in the style of the English league, in terms of the tempo and the time you get to think on the pitch.

“The Italian and English leagues are two very different propositions. And the younger a player is, the easier it is for him to adapt and get to grips with English football.

“There has been talk that Jose Mourinho and Shevchenko have not found a common language.

“In my case, Arsene Wenger’s role in helping me establish myself as a first-team regular was invaluable.”