COMMENTARY | There has been speculation that Arsenal's Gervinho could very well be sold during this summer's transfer market. The forward moved to Arsenal from French club Lille in the summer of 2011 for a fee rumored to be £10.8 million. While the Ivory Coast international enjoyed two very successful seasons with Lille, he has failed to make a significant impact with the Gunners.
In two seasons in north London, Gervinho has scored 11 goals, and tallied 12 assists in a total of 61 matches. While these numbers seem a bit disappointing for a player who cost over £10 million, the forward has played well for the Gunners at times. Nevertheless, it is fairly obvious that Gervinho has fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal, and a move to another club appears likely for the forward.
French club Marseille has recently expressed interest in Gervinho. Franck Passi, Marseille's assistant coach, told Le 10 Sport: "This is a profile that interests us, yes. We want flank players, with dribbling, passing and scoring and Gervinho has this profile."
It would appear that most Gunner fans wouldn't be very upset if Arsenal's boss, Arsène Wenger, was to sell the forward this summer. Arsenal fans have vented their frustration with Gervinho by booing him at some home matches during the 2012-2013 season.
Nonetheless, it would be wise of Arsenal to have another player lined up and ready to replace Gervinho, if the club is ready to sell the player. If in fact the Gunners sell the Ivory Coast international before they line up a replacement, they could risk not having a sufficient player to go along with their current front line.
While some Arsenal fans may say that the team could very well put anyone out on the flank with two legs and that particular player would be just as good as Gervinho, he nevertheless has value as he is still rated at around £10 million. In fact, when starlet Eden Hazard made the move to Chelsea from Lille in 2012 he told the Sun, "Great players inspire you. The best player I played with was Gervi (Gervinho). We didn't have the same qualities, but we both tried to make the difference. He taught me some things. He makes the right runs."
If Arsenal wants to compete for trophies in the coming years, they absolutely have to strengthen their squad. However, the Gunners need to buy talented players before they sell off any of their regular players (or at least be extremely confident they can bring in their specific target). This summer transfer period could possibly be one of the most important transfer markets of Arsène Wenger's career.
Christopher Moore has been following Arsenal Football Club for over 10 years.
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