Arsenal flop scores wondergoal in Italy – did Arsene make a mistake?
Arsenal’s lack of strength in depth in attack has been well publicised this season, with an over-reliance on Olivier Giroud to lead the line for the North London outfit.
As such, a host of striking targets have been mentioned as potential additions for Arsene Wenger’s men, as the club looks to take some of the goalscoring burden off the France international’s shoulders.
However, in the summer clean out that saw a raft of fringe figures leave the Emirates Stadium, one departure may well be rued at the moment by the Arsenal fans.
Gervinho arrived at the club in July 2011 for a fee of more than £10 million and had forged a stellar reputation as a potent attacker for then French champions Lille.
However, over the course of two years in London, the Ivory Coast international never really hit the heights expected of him. Debilitating injuries and playing from wide positions meant that the African attacker only managed nine Premier League goals for the Gunners, before being sold to Roma in the summer.
Since his move to the Italian capital, Gervinho has been in scintillating form and has been a key player in the Stadio Olimpico outfit’s rise to challenge for the Scudetto.
The ex-Gunner has shown the form that was expected of him in England and has netted some important goals for the Giallorossi so far this term.
His latest heroics came on Wednesday night in the Coppa Italia, as Rudi Garcia’s men knocked champions Juventus out of the competition in a 1-0 win. Gervinho scored the only goal of the game – in spectacular fashion.
Given Gervinho’s form at the Italian club, did Wenger make a mistake by allowing the attacker to leave the Emirates Stadium in the summer?
There is no doubt that the Ivorian is most prominent and effective when used as a central striker, which he did at Lille and generally does now at Roma. He was not afforded this luxury during his time in England due to the presence of others, and playing in a role that did not suit him cost him chances in front of goal.
With little to no confidence in Nicklas Bendtner at the club and Lukas Podolski injured for the majority of the campaign, there is little doubt that Gervinho would have been an ideal back-up or second option to Giroud.
The belief that he is showing at the Stadio Olimpico, his link-up play with the likes of Francesco Totti and his overall improvement means that Wenger may well have dropped the ball when he sanctioned Gervinho’s departure from Arsenal.