Arsenal Transfer News: Gervinho Sale Smart Move for Gunners
Gervinho is no longer a member of the Arsenal Gunners.
As reported by the club's official website on Thursday, the Gunners completed a sale of the striker to AS Roma for a fee that was not disclosed. According to ESPN UK, the fee paid by the Serie A club was £8 million.
After falling out of favor at Emirates Stadium and not expected to be in the mix for a starting job during preseason, Arsenal—and Gervinho—were wise to push this transfer through and cut ties with a player who had a limited future in England.
Arsene Wenger signed Gervinho away from Lille after a season in which the Ivory Coast star had double-digit goals and assists in Ligue 1 play.
The Gunners reportedly paid £10.8 million to bring the 26-year-old to the Premier League before the 2011-12 season.
Expected to help make Arsenal's front line one of the best in the EPL, Gervinho failed to produce the kind of results that would have made his exit from the club this summer surprising.
In 46 Premier League matches with the Gunners (31 starts), Gervinho recorded just nine goals and nine assists. When adding his numbers from Champions League action (eight games across two seasons), the numbers increase to 11 goals and 12 assists.
As you can see in this tweet from WhoScored.com, Gervinho was not efficient with the ball in his possession, either:
Gervinho: Only 2 current Arsenal players had a worse dribble success (34.8%) than Gervinho in the Premier League last season— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 25, 2013
He got off to a hot start during the 2012-13 EPL season, scoring five goals in the club's first seven matches. In tandem with Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, Gervinho showed flashes of being a bargain by being a spark for Wenger's outfit early on.
But after leaving the club to compete for Ivory Coast at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Gervinho failed to produce in the same manner upon his return.
He finished with just seven goals across all competition and started only 12 of the club's games by the time the 2012-13 season ended. By that time, it was apparent he was not going to be part of Wenger's plans to get the Gunners back to the top of European football.
Simply put, Arsenal expected more from Gervinho.
At the end of the day, the Gunners' decision to accept nearly 80 percent of what they paid for the striker was really a no-brainer.
DirtyTackle's Twitter account thinks Wenger committed highway robbery by convincing Roma that Gervinho was worth £8 million:
The smile of man who just sold Gervinho for £8 million... pic.twitter.com/5hdSoh5kiN— dirtytackle (@BrooksDT) August 8, 2013
Gervinho will have a chance to revitalize his career in the Italian league. The ability to score goals is still there; Gervinho netted twice in three matches for Ivory Coast during this year's Africa Cup of Nations. Roma will give the striker a shot at consistent first-team playing time.
For Arsenal, picking up some extra funds to throw at Luis Suarez and any other transfer target is a wise move. Gervinho's days with Arsenal had looked numbered for quite some time, and Wenger managed to squeeze a nice return from the Serie A club for his services.
At the end of the day, the decision to sell was a wise move. Now that the Gervinho saga is in the books, the Gunners can focus on making a splash during the final month of the transfer window.
Follow B/R's Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.
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