Will Arsenal live to regret Gervinho sale - just like Vela?

Former Arsenal flop Gervinho bagged another two goals in Roma's win over Napoli – could the Gunners regret his sale, just like they did with Carlos Vela?

The Ivorian international arrived in North London from Lille in 2011, but failed to replicate the form he showed in Ligue 1 with the Gunners, scoring just 11 goals in 63 games, compared to his impressive 36 in 93 record with Lille.

The continual flashes of brilliance were matched by consistently poor displays, and his wild inconsistency eventually led to his exit last summer, as his former boss Rudi Garcia took him to Roma.

Unsurprisingly, Gervinho's career has been revitalised by reuniting with his old manager, and his two goals in Roma's 3-2 win over Napoli demonstrated how the 26-year-old has found his confidence again, taking his tally for the season to eight goals in just 21 appearances.

With the former Arsenal flop now flourishing in Italy – just as he did in France – did manager Arsene Wenger make a mistake by letting him go in the summer?

The club are no stranger to this situation, as Mexican Carlos Vela also struggled to make an impact in North London, but saw his career take off once he left Arsenal for La Liga side Real Sociedad.

Vela hit just 13 goals during his time in England, which included a loan spell with West Bromwich Albion, but since moving to San Sebastian and establishing himself in the first team, Vela has hit 14 goals in every season there, making a mockery of those that thought he wasn't good enough.

There have since been rumours of Vela being targeted for a return to the Emirates Stadium, with a potential buy-back clause available for Arsenal. Whilst there is little to suggest that the same agreement is in place for Gervinho, it seems that this is another sale that the Gunners may live to regret.

It seems particularly important now that Arsenal are in need of help up front, with Theo Walcott out injured and Olivier Giroud needing some support up top, and Gervinho would've been able to help in an important stage of the season for Wenger's side – but ultimately, as with Vela, it may well be that regular first-team football was the catalyst for an improvement in displays for Gervinho.

image: © ronnie macdonald

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch