Gervinho adds to Arsenal 'offensive efficiency'

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Arsene Wenger has revealed his delight at the capture of Ivorian striker Gervinho - and in the process deflected some of the speculation surrounding key players leaving the Emirates this summer.

Gervinho comes to north London with a burgeoning reputation, having starred for Lille last season - scoring 15 times - as the French side secured a league and cup double.

The Ivory Coast international is Wenger’s first big signing of the summer, and shows just how carefully the Arsenal manager is going about spending his money in the transfer window.

Along with signing Carl Jenkinson, the two newcomers are the beginning of a rebuild in a squad that has now gone six seasons without a trophy.

"[Gervinho] has qualities that are interesting," Wenger told Arsenal’s official website.

"He has good movement off the ball, he is very quick. He can play up front, on the left or on the right.

"He can score goals, can provide and had the best assists in the French league last year. I think he can be a great contribution to the offensive efficiency of the team."


Wenger believes that Gervinho will play well off Theo Walcott, with the two building a top class forward line that can continue Arsenal’s attacking style of play.

"He has qualities like Theo Walcott, they have good movement,” Wenger said.

"I think Theo can play on the left, right and up front. He has a similar type of pace and finishing."

Gervinho was unable to accompany Arsenal on their pre-season tour of Asia because of visa issues, but the 24-year-old could make his first start for the team against Cologne in a friendly in Germany on July 23.

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