Arsenal finally announced yesterday that Gervinho had completed his move to the club from French double winners Lille. The player himself has said he is delighted to join Arsenal, and Arsene Wenger is very happy to have signed him too. Arsenal's perceived needs may be in their defence, but Gervinho should be a welcome addition to their forward line in my opinion.
Gervinho has a lot of qualities which will be beneficial to Arsenal, and he should get plenty of chances to display them in the coming season. With Nicklas Bendtner actively looking for a move and Marouane Chamakh and Carlos Vela not living up to expectations Arsenal needed to add some quality to their striking options. Gervinho can play in any of the three advanced roles in the Arsenal attack, and his signature will put some pressure on plenty of other players at the club.
Robin Van Persie cannot be expected to lead the line in every single game Arsenal play, and if Gervinho can take some off the weight off his shoulders it would be a great asset to Arsenal. Van Persie has had an injury ravaged career so far with Arsenal, but if he can stay fit there is no doubt that he is the man to score the goals for Arsenal. It would be great if Gervinho can fill in for him when he needs to be rested, and still keep the overall strength in the team.
Arsenal's current choices in their two wide positions are Theo Walcott, Samir Nasri and Andrei Arshavin, but Gervinho has the added benefit of being able to play on either side of the central striker. He managed 18 goals in all competitions for Lille last season, and he weighed in with quite a few assists as well. His inclusion in the Arsenal squad could see both Walcott's and Arshavin's places under severe pressure, and hopefully that will bring the best out of them.
Gervinho has the ability to take players on and beat them and in my opinion Arsenal need to add that quality to their team. There are other players in the team capable of doing so, but all too often they play square passes rather than attempt to beat their opponent. Arsenal's play has become far too predictable at times, and hopefully he can help to change that.
He should have no problem whatsoever with Arsenal's style of play, as he has shown he has the technical ability required to fit in with the rest of the team. His ability to pick a pass and make chances for his teammates should take some of the pressure off Cesc Fabregas in that department. Cesc is still the best creator of chances in the top five leagues in Europe, but a little bit of help would not go astray.
When Arsenal fell apart at the end of last season they became very predictable for their opponents, as there was a lack of movement and penetration in the team. They had a few very costly home games in the Premier League when they failed to score against mediocre opposition. In those games a player with Gervinho's movement might just have made the difference to enable Arsenal to score the vital breakthrough goal.
He looks to be a very promising signing, but unless the defence can also be bolstered Arsenal will still find it very hard to win the trophies their players and fans crave. The lack of strength in depth of their defence was cruelly exposed last season, and it has to be addressed. The ideal scenario would be for the players needed to arrive as soon as possible, so that they can learn to play with the rest of the team before the season starts.
However, if that isn't possible Wenger still has to strive to bring them in right up until the last minute before the transfer window closes. If he doesn't manage to do so I fear the signing of Gervinho will have been in vain as Arsenal will again concede too many goals to claim their first trophy in what will be seven years when this season ends.
That's it for today.
Here's a little bit of Gervinho at his best.
See You Tomorrow.