Before all the Arsenal fans shout Yes and go off and have a party, I should explain that the French Ligue 1 side Marseille only want to take the Ivorian international Gervinho from the Gunners on a season long loan deal. I think that if they were to offer Arsenal anywhere near £10 million then we would snap their hands off, but a loan deal is much less straightforward.
Arsenal’s very own attacking enigma Gervinho, who can be brilliant on one day and an abject failure the next, has been talking about his childhood in the Ivory Coast and how football has changed his life.
Arsene Wenger has explained how importance confidence is to the Ivorian’s game and Gervinho himself has now showed his emotional side. He said on Arsenal.com: “I didn’t grow up in a good environment, I didn’t get everything I wished for – but I was fortunate enough to have certain things, parents who fought for me,”
I had to do a double take when I saw this story in the newspaper this morning, then I checked the date to see if it was April Fool’s Day, although that does not necessarily the story true. Apparently, the Turkish champions Galatasaray want to sign the Arsenal and Ivory Coast forward Gervinho in the summer, and they are willing to pay £12 million for the privilege.
Arsenal paid under £11 million to the French Ligue 1 club Lille for him in July 2011. Gervinho had just scored 18 goals that season as Lille won the French title, but it is fair to say that he has not really replicated his form since coming to the Emirates.
22-year old Godfrey Oboabona will not be totally unheard of at Arsenal. The centre back plays for Sunshine Stars FC and the Nigerian national team. He played the full 90 minutes in direct opposition to the Arsenal striker Gervinho as the Ivory Coast were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations at the quarter-final stage. After knocking out the tournament favourites, Nigeria went on to lift the trophy for the third time, and Oboabona’s impressive displays may have earned him a dream move.
Arsenal are entering an absolutely crucial stage of the season, and Arsene Wenger has said that the next few games will define our season. With matches coming thick and fast in three competitions, the depth of the squad could be of vital importance in the coming weeks, and that is why I feel that the game against Blackburn Rovers today is the perfect one to bring back the Ivorian international forward Gervinho.
Arsenal fans may find this hard to believe, but Gervinho just won the first AFCON match for his country, the Ivory Coast. He was also, for me, a good contender for man of the match, along with Yaya Toure. I wonder if a good run of performances in the competition could renew his conference and give him the impetus to get his Arsenal career back on track.
The Arsenal striker Gervinho was one of a host of Premiership players that had to be protected by a ring of security guards with riot shields in Senegal when rioting home fans forced the referee to abandon the game with Gervinho’s Ivory Coast team leading the home team by two goals to nil.
Didier Drogba had put the away team 1-0 up direct from a free-kick, but when the Ivory Coast were awarded a controversial penalty, which Drogba also converted, the Senegal supporters started fires in the stands and started raining missiles, including chairs, stones, cans and bottles down on the players.
The last time the Arsenal winger Gervinho played in the African Cup of Nations he left the field gutted after missing the penalty that left the Ivory Coast as runners up in the Final last summer, but he helped his team take their first step towards next years finals with a 4-2 win over Senegal despite allowing their opponents to take the lead twice in this qualifying match.
To be fair, the two goals scored by Senegal were brilliant to put the pressure on the Ivory Coast, but Gervinho scored the best goal for his team which levelled the scores at 2-2.
Arsene Wenger has hinted that the Ivory Coast international Gervinho will be playing for Arsenal against Sunderland today, and thinks that game-time is the only thing that could help the mis-firing striker get over the disappointment of missing the crucial penalty that gifted the AFCON trophy to Zambia.
Wenger said: “He was very down when I spoke with him on Monday, now he is better and hopefully he can contribute on Saturday,”
“We don’t know what impact the Africa Cup of Nations will have. I see Yaya Toure played on Thursday night for Manchester City and sometimes the best thing to get things out of your system is to play a game and have a performance.
Did you guys see that goal against Mali? Class it was. Gervinho had very good technique to place it with such a tight angle in place. However the most important thing about the goal was that it fell to Gervinho to score.
He could have messed that up with so much time on the ball, luckily the Arsenal striker kept his calm and put it away.
The Swiss defender Johan Djourou is aware that Arsenal have been strongly linked with the Lille striker Gervinho, and he thinks that the Ivory Coast international will fit in perfectly with Arsenal’s style of play.
Djourou, who was also born in the Ivory Coast, said yesterday: “I have followed a bit of the French league this season and I have to say Gervinho is a great player,”
“I have known him for a long time and he is just a great player … quick, with so much talent and good skills. He is a great, great talent and we need that because he can play as a striker, as a No10 or on the wing. He has all the ingredients to play for Arsenal, that is a definite.”
Arsenal are reportedly paying attention to Lille’s striker Gervinho and today it has been revealed that he has refused to sign a contract extension with the Ligue 1 side. The Ivory Coast striker, who started his career in Belgium with Beveren, has been in excellent form with Lille bringing attention to his qualities from top European sides.
The French publication ‘Magazine France Football’ is reporting that Gervinho’s agent is saying that his client will not be signing a contract extension. The offer was made last month, but after careful consideration Gervinho decided to turn down the offer, alerting interested clubs that he is ready to leave Lille.