Arsenal striker admits to 'difficult moments'

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Gervinho admits he endured a difficult time during his first season in English football but is now reaping the rewards of extra endeavour after being turned into a striker by Arsene Wenger.

The Ivorian never competently settled last term after his £10.5 million move from Lille, and was particularly ineffective after retiring to north London following the Africa Cup of Nations.

Gervinho, however, has thrived this season following his move from the Arsenal wing into a central striker position, and already has a return of five goals - one more than he managed during the entire last campaign.

The 25-year-old believes he is seeing the benefit of working harder in training sessions in order to prime himself for the defences of the Premier League, having found last season somewhat of a culture shock.

"I endured some difficult moments indeed. But it didn't shatter me," Gervinho told L'Equipe.

"I have evolved in my game. In England, you need to be at your very best physically.

"This year I am working a lot more in training sessions. It is essential. I needed more power."

Gervinho is in line for another start for the Gunners on Saturday against West Ham, having scored and provided an assist during the midweek defeat of Olympiacos in the Champions League.

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