With all the negativity surrounding Arsenal’s potential transfer dealings in recent weeks, the signing of Lille forward Gervinho has been somewhat overlooked in the media. He has been seen by some as another unknown who Arsene has picked up from the French league for a relatively cheap price. He was however, a key part of the Lille side that unexpectedly won the league and cup double last year, scoring 15 goals in the league and leading the Ligue 1 assist charts. Therefore i think that he is a very exciting signing for the gunners and could become an important part of the first team.
Recently in a 2:1 friendly win against German club FC Koln Arsenal fans got there first sighting of the Ivory Coast international and in his short time on the pitch he impressed.
Gervinho only had half an hour to show what he could do but in that short time he managed to net a brace while his direct running was a constant threat. There were a couple of attacks that were broken down as he gave the ball away poorly with a wayward pass but with a bit more game time and match fitness these little mistakes should be cut out of his game.
His first goal was a great finish and came from one of his many runs from the left wing as he constantly hovered around the edge of the Koln area. Jack Wilshere played a fine ball over the top and Gervinho beat the offside trap with a great run and coolly lobbed the keeper.
Wilshere was involved again in the second goal as his volleyed pass was a little fortunate to reach Walcott who kept his composure and crossed from the right for Gervinho to tap in. After half an hour he was taken off by Arsene Wenger as a precautionary measure but any gunner watching would be encouraged by his performance in this friendly.
Elsewhere Wilshere and Walcott played well in the first half and Thomas Vermaelen was solid at the back. Other new signing young Carl Jenkinson was unfortunate and after a really good first half performance scored an incredibly ridiculous but highly unfortunate own goal. In the second half Arsenal looked slightly weak in defence, following Vermaelens substitution, and surely a solid centre back to partner the Belgian must be Wenger’s priority.
Of course, Gervinho will have to prove himself in the Premier League before we all get too excited, but it’s a good start, isn’t it?
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