Arsenal seal deal for Ivorian striker Gervinho

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Arsenal recruited Lille’s  24-year-old Ivory Coast forward Gervinho yesterday as they bid  to boost their firepower this season and end a trophy drought  stretching back to 2005.
“He is an official Arsenal player. Gervinho has joined  training today at London Colney (in England),” Arsenal manager  Arsene Wenger told a news conference during the club’s  pre-season trip to Malaysia.

The arrival of Gervinho, who scored 28 goals in 67 games for  Ligue 1 champions Lille over the last two seasons, comes amid  speculation that top midfielders Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas  could leave despite Wenger saying he will fight to keep them.

British media reported that Gervinho, who generally  operated on the right of a front three for last season’s  surprise French double winners, had cost 12.0 million pounds  ($19.3 million).

Gervinho, whose full name is Gervais Yao Kouassi, moved to  Belgium League side Beveren when he was 17 before heading to  France where he played for Le Mans before joining Lille two  years ago.
He has represented his country at both the Olympics and last  year’s World Cup.
Forward Niklas Bendtner and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia have  both been linked with moves away from Arsenal in the media.   ($1 = 0.622 British Pounds)

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