Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Should Wenger Sign Gervinho or Keep Andrei Arshavin?
Statically, 2010/2011 was a strong campaign for Arsenal dynamo Andrei Arshaivn. The Russian enjoyed 50 appearances for the Gunners, the most by any of Arsene Wenger's squad members, contributed 10 goals, fourth on the Arsenal scoring charts and amassed a superb 17 assists, a feat no other Arsenal player could match.
Yet despite his contribution on paper, there are intesifying calls from the Arsenal faithful for the Russian's departure with even Wenger hinting Arshavin could be on the move. The Gunner's fans, who have become even more disgruntled after Arsenal dire run of silverware was extended to sixth successive seasons after a late season demise, grew unhappy with the attitude conveyed by the 30-year-old at times during the season.
Despite Arshavin's calibre and quality, the Russian has a tendency to evoke the theory he is uninterested on the playing field. At times throughout Arsenal's season, Russia's captain appeared lazy, lethargic and even bored. Arshavin's lapses in form resulted in his demotion from first choice left wing as Samir Nasri's immense form ensured the Frenchman was in Wenger's favour.
But there is no denying the ability of Arshavin. Statistics don't lie, the former Zenit winger is capable of breaking even the strongest and quick defences with his pace, balance and trickery. An efficient goalscorer and provider, the impact Arshavin can provide is strong.
However a number of quality players have been linked with the Gunners due to Wenger vowing to implement changes into his young squad. One player who is atop the Arsenal transfer rumours is Lille striker Gervinho, with Goal.com stating Wenger is ready to sign the Ivorian if the Frenchman can sell Andrei Arshavin.
Should Wenger sell Andrei Arshavin
A quick, powerful striker, the Ivory Coast international is speculated to be chased by the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle, but due to his desire to grace UEFA Champions League football, Arsenal are in pole position to secure Gervinho's services.
Still young and a clinical striker, Wenger is a renowned fan of the African who is rumoured to be commanding up to £15 million from Lille, the same price Wenger acquired Arshavin from Russian giants Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2009.
Gervinho would more than mitigate the potential departure of Arshavin as the forward has already conveyed the ability to thrive in the English Premier League and the Arsenal style of play. But should Wenger be aiming to sell Andrei Arshavin.
Guaranteed, the Russian's stature among Arsenal fans is diminishing, but the small magician is a special player whose statistics are to strong to ignore. Whether its as a starting winger or an impact of the bench, Arshavin has the ability to cause such a threat with the Arsenal attack.
But Gervinho is a proven goalscorer who at 24 is a much more appealing prospect than the aging 30-year-old Arshavin. Capable of performing on the wing or as a striker, it is easy to envision the Ivorian settling in well at the Emirates, particularly with close friend Emmanuel Eboue, who is Wenger's deputy right back.
At potentially £15 million it is by no means expensive for the Arsenal manager who would be bolstered by funds from Arshavin's departure furthered by his increased budget for the Summer Transfer Window. But would Wenger be making a mistake by selling his diminutive Russian?
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