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Arsenal fans: this will be Gervinho’s year:

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For me, Gervinho was Arsenal’s best player during pre-season. Whilst others looked to be working their way towards fitness and struggled to find their touch, Gervinho looked fired up. He looked like a man desperate to make an impression. His plan? Take on as many defenders as possible and leave them in the dust. And you know what? It worked more often than not. But that was during pre-season.

Even though it’s already early in this fledgling season, he has already found himself squeezed out of the first team. He now finds himself behind Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain out on the wings. But can he work his way back into contention?

It’ll be a challenge, no doubt. But I believe he can do it. More than that, I believe he’s ready to excel.

And I’m sure that anybody who saw his performance for the Ivory Coast against Senegal, will agree with me. It was his most effective performance since he left Ligue 1. Unlike the Gervinho we saw all too often last season, he was able to completely dominate Senegal’s defense. Best of all, he even managed to conjure up some end product (something that he usually shies away from). He grabbed a goal (a fine, lofted finish), an assist and won a penalty – not a bad night’s work.

Arsenal fans will certainly hope that he brings this confidence and form back with him to the Emirates. Whilst he disappointed against Sunderland, I do feel like he’s ready to start performing. He’s Arsenal’s most direct player. Unlike Theo, he loves to take on his man, take it outside the defender and drive towards goal.

He’s got quick feet, great balance, and a nice turn of pace. Once he starts scoring regularly, he’s going to be a real threat to Premier League defences. Until then, he’s more than capable of providing the likes of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski with ammunition.

Given Gerv’s performances in pre-season and on International duty, I can’t help but wonder if Wenger should consider playing Podolski in his favoured centre-forward role and put Gervinho in his current position. Regardless, I’m sure Gervinho will force himself back into reckoning one way or another. And once he’s done that, he’ll be hard to stop.

What’s your take? Does Gervinho have a big season ahead of him?

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