Gervais Yao Kouassi has completed his transfer from Lille to Arsenal today. The 24 year old Ivorian has signed a 4 year contract. The transfer fee involved is reported to be around £10.6 million. The talented Ivorian plays mainly as a wide forward. Lille played in a 4-3-3 formation and Gervinho was used in the right side of the front three, so he wouldn’t need much adjustment as far as tactics are concerned. In 2009/2010 season he got 13 goals and last season he got 15 goals plus 10 assists, really good return for a player who plays out wide. The Ivory Coast international was the captain of his national team in the 2008 Olympics. He is said to be a very direct and exciting player. He loves to cut in from the right, but isn’t too comfortable playing through the center. Before completing this move he was linked with other clubs such as Newcastle United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City. Gervinho though, was always keen for a move to London. In 2008, He was quoted saying
“I need to keep working and Arsenal will open the door for me. I have dreamed about that club. To play for them will be the best day of my life and I will do anything to play for Arsenal.”
He is seen as a direct replacement for Nicklas Bendtner. The big Dane is about to leave, as stated by Wenger, clubs from Portugal and Germany are said to be interested. He has pace and strength as well as technique. At times in Lille, he was overshadowed by Hazard, but people argue that Gervinho was the most important player for the French team that won the league last season. With his pace, strength and finishing he should have no problem adjusting to Premier League. He will also bring in good experience to squad. He is the first big signing for Arsenal this season, and with hopefully more to follow.
By Amlan Majumdar