Arsenal FC: Lille striker Gervinho expected to be the first major signing

Robin SAnalyst IJune 10, 2011

QINHUANGDAO, CHINA - AUGUST 16:  Gervinho of Ivory Coast controls the ball during the Men's Quarter Final match between Nigeria and Ivory Coast at Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Qinhuangdao, China.  (Photo by Noriko Hayakusa/Getty Images)
Noriko Hayakusa/Getty Images

Talksport is reporting that Arsenal have secured the signing of Lille striker Gervinho in a deal worth around £10 million.

The signing is expected to be completed in the next few days according to Talksport. It's hardly surprising considering the fact he has been on Arsenal's radar since his time at Beveren.

Even when he joined Le Mans in 2007, Arsene Wenger kept close tabs on his progress.

Gervinho then moved to Lille from Le Mans where he had a revival of sorts. His goals to game ratio improved with Lille and had an exceptional World Cup with Cote d'Ivoire.

After exhibiting his skills and abilities in South Africa, he followed up with a stellar season in Ligue 1 culminating in Lille's march to the Ligue 1 title.

In his time at Lille, Gervinho bagged 18 goals and 11 assists in 50 odd games.

As a reward for his eye-catching performances, he's now on his way to the English Premier League.

Is he what Arsenal need at the moment?

It's apparent that Gervinho would be a replacement for exit-bound striker Nicklas Bendtner but at 5'11" he doesn't offer the aerial threat that Bendtner offers.

However, his versatility will come in handy for Wenger to experiment with his formations and tactics.

Gervinho predominantly plays as a striker, but he can also easily operate on either wing. One of the criticisms of Arsenal is that their attack has been far too predictable in recent seasons.

Gervinho does offer something different. He's physically very strong and runs at defenders and beats them with speedy, explosive footwork. He maneuvers the ball well and has a knack of twisting and turning his way out in tight situations.

At the world cup, the 24-year-old striker showed his composure with the ball at his feet, and the game against Portugal, in particular, was a fine example of what this player is all about.

He was relentless in that game and tried to create openings and harried and hassled the opponents with his energetic runs down the flank.

He showed great trickery and made a mockery of the fullbacks. It goes without saying that Arsenal could do with that sort of a player in their attack.

Gervinho is not the greatest of finishers. If he works on improving his finishing, he could go on to become a better all around striker.

It's also worth mentioning that Gervinho doesn't offer much of a threat aerially. However, he brings many facets on board that the Gunners lack at the moment and for £10m it's a frugal signing which provides good value for money.

In all likelihood, this will be Arsenal's first major signing of the summer. It remains to be seen how the Arsenal faithful respond to this. A good signing nevertheless.