Arsenal is a topic that’s currently on everyone’s lips in the transfer window for mostly negative reasons. Facing the departures of midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, left back Gael Clichy and striker Nicklas Bendtner, Arsenal is going to need to fill many holes this summer. The Gunners look to be on the verge of their first major signing with Lille forward Gervinho.
The Ivorian footballer has become a quality goalscorer on both the domestic and international stages. The deal, which is reportedly around 12 million euros, would give Arsenal a potential hitman up front. Arsenal has struggled to find quality players in front of the net. Besides Robin van Persie, Arsenal is filled with young strikers who have failed to make a lasting impact. Theo Walcott has been utilized more often as a winger than a forward. Carlos Vela and Marouane Chamakh haven’t adapted in England well and Bendtner looks to be on his way out of the club.
In Gervinho, Arsenal will have a strong, physical footballer who has shown pace, versatility, and proficiency in front of the net. He is an excellent dribbler who can take on defenders with the ball at his feet and make punishing runs behind defenses. His high assist totals also show he can link up well with teammates in terms of building chances. He is also a proven winger from the right and could fit in well with the speedy Theo Walcott who improved last season.
The 24 year old is determined to leave now for Arsenal after winning the double with Lille. He feels he has proven himself in the French league and now he wants to take it to the next level in the EPL. “I’m happy to have won all these trophies,” he told France Football. “I’m glad to have taken a route through the French league but now I will go to London. At Arsenal, it is a young squad and I can fit in nicely. I can develop myself over there.” He added,”I’m going there to play, not to be on the bench. Arsenal love the game. And I love teams that love the game. The Premier League is a notch above. It’s maybe the best league in the world. I want to live that sensation.”
Signing Gervinho is important for Arsene Wenger as the team has entered a period of crisis. Six years of failing to win anything has caught up with them. Players like Nasri have grown tired of falling short for the club and in order to keep them, they need to make new signings to boost morale. Even stalwarts like Andrei Arshavin and Robin van Persie have grown dissatisfied and could be a part of a devastating mass exodus. Besides Gervinho, Arsenal have also been linked with several other signings including defenders Christopher Samba and Gary Cahill and midfielders Juan Mata and Ricky Alvarez. With a physically imposing defense, consistently adept midfielders and composed forwards, Arsenal can change their losing ways.
Gervinho looks ready to make the transition to the Premier League just at the time that he is entering the prime of his career. Arsenal have had their eye on him since he was playing for K.S.K. Beveren in the Belgian League in the 2006/2007 season. For Arsene Wenger, getting Gervinho could be the start of rampant transfer activity that could get the Gunners back on track.