Former Arsenal midfielder turned journalist Adrian Clarke believes Arsene Wenger made a big mistake selling Gervinho, having since witnessed the forward star for Roma over the past 12 months.
Gervinho, 27, joined the Gunners from Lille for around £10.8 million in the summer of 2011, with his record of 36 goals in 93 total appearances for the then-Ligue 1 champions generating high expectations among supporters.
However, the Ivorian international would go on to net just 11 times in 63 games over the next two seasons, being reduced to a fringe role towards the end of his spell, before a £6.23 million switch to Serie A in August 2013.
Reunited with his former manager Rudi Garcia, who coached him at both Le Mans and Lille, Gervinho has proceeded to revitalise his career in the Italian capital, much to the surprise of Arsenal fans, becoming an integral part of the side which finished league runners-up to Juventus last season.
Grabbing two goals and an assist in the 5-1 demolition of Russian champions CSKA Moscow in their midweek Champions League opener, Clarke believes the versatile front man is proving that Wenger gave up on him too soon, and thinks the Frenchman’s current lineup would be much improved with him in it.
‘I’m impressed, to be honest,’ he told Tuttomercatoweb.com. ‘When he was here we saw great technical skills but in terms of choices and coolness in front of goal he’s become much more clinical.
‘When he left, there was no one complaining. People were pleased, but now Arsenal are missing someone themselves.
‘There is [Alexis] Sanchez, that’s true, but there's no one like Gervinho. That’s who Wenger lacks in his side.’
Even with Olivier Giroud out injured, Arsenal’s squad still boasts a number of attacking options, with the much-anticipated £16 million deadline day signing of Danny Welbeck easing some lingering concerns.
Nevertheless, it must no doubt remain frustrating to see Gervinho go on to fulfil his potential at another club, having been all but written off as a flop during his time at the Emirates.