The season starts in a little over a month and Arsenal still haven't signed anyone of significance. I say this without flinching as I do not believe that new signing Phil Jenkinson will play a major part in the team this season.
Gary Cahill, Ricky Alvarez, Leighton Baines, Jose Enrique and Scott Parker have all been mentioned as potential signings for the Gunners, but none as of yet seem to be close to completion. It would appear that Inter Milan are at the forefront of the chase for Ricky Alvarez while there seems to have been no formal bid tabled for Gary Cahill.
As of today, the only other signing that seems likely to be completed before the end of the transfer window is that of Lille winger Gervais Yao Kouassi better known as Gervinho. Many fans are still in haze as to why Arsenal are interested in signing another player from the Ligue 1 after the exploits of Chamakh and Koscielny last season which earned mixed reviews across board. Is he really any good?
Apparently he is!
French football scout Ben Lyttleton, in his latest article, claims he could be Arsenal’s new Robert Pires. He goes on to say:
"What Arsenal would get is a player who will get into double figures for goals and assists, while not playing as their main striker. That is the type of player who can elevate with you with his figures, he could make the difference between coming fourth and second. He moves instinctively in the box and though he can miss chances, he’s a good finisher."
Sound familiar? His career stats at Lille and former club Le Mans are also rather impressive. Played 145, scored 45 goals with 22 assists.
Of note is the fact that he scored 18 goals and recorded 10 assists last season as Lille marched on their way to a historic League and Cup double in France. If he indeed signs, Arsenal are getting a player who is probably in the best form of his life and at 24 can only improve.
Arsenal's participation in the Champions' League for next season albeit via the playoffs is clearly a motivating factor for Gervinho as he has never played in any Continental European Club competition. Speaking ahead of his move to Arsenal, he spoke to France Football Magazine saying:
"I chose Arsenal because it's a young group within which I will be able to integrate easily, I could develop more over there. There's only a few details left to sort out. [Is it] a risk? Not at all. I'm going to Arsenal to play. The best risk to take is to look to score goals and to play a lot. In football you have to take risks if you want to win. I'm going to Arsenal to win."
"I had no hesitation. None. But in a transfer there's always a period of analysis and negotiations. "All sides had to be satisfied so that things could develop smoothly. I'm going there to play, not to be on the bench. Arsenal love the game and I love teams that love the game. The Premier League is a notch above. It's maybe the best league in the world. I want to live that sensation."
His motivation is evident and where his arrival leaves the likes of Walcott, Vela and Arshavin can be left to speculation but all that remains is for him to step up and perform at the highest level possible.
Now I wonder if Eboue will give up his squad number for him!
Till next time...Victoria Concordia Crescit.