Former Arsenal man: Wenger should have had more confidence in me

Gervinho has reflected on his two seasons at the Emirates Stadium and has admitted that he did not expect to leave the club in the summer.

After playing a key role in leading Lille to the 2010-11 Ligue 1 title, much was expected of Gervinho when he signed for Arsenal the following summer.

However, the Ivory Coast international failed to live up to his billing in north London, and was allowed to leave to join Roma over the summer.

Nine Premier League goals in 45 appearances was not deemed enough to keep the African attacker on the books, and the player has admitted that he was surprised to leave the Gunners over the summer.

“I do not regret my two years at Arsenal,” Gervinho told Foot Mercato.

“There was, it is true, good and bad times and I expected more, this is true. But the club will remain forever in my heart.

“I never thought I would leave Arsenal after two seasons. But that's football, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

“I have great respect for Arsene Wenger. I was just lacking playing time and I would have liked it if he had more confidence in me.”

Gervinho has been reunited with former Lille boss Rudi Garcia at Roma, and seems rejuvenated in the Italian capital.

The African attacker has played a considerable part in the Giallorossi’s climb to the top of Serie A, with Roma winning all ten of their opening fixtures this term.

With Gervinho starting to get back to his best, is there a case that Arsenal could have kept the Ivory Coast international in north London?

Had Gervinho remained at Arsenal for this season, the regular first-team football that he craves would not have been granted to him.

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In attack, with Olivier Giroud in good form and Wenger’s number one choice, the African would have had to watch on from the sidelines. This would have been the same in a wide or attacking midfield role, with Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil taking precedence over him.

However, with a lack of trusted back-up options to the France international striker, Gervinho would surely have been a better option to Arsenal than the likes of Nicklas Bendtner.

For the player a move to Roma seems to have been the shot in the arm his career needed, but Arsenal could well have used Gervinho’s abilities in attack if they needed an alternative to an injured or unavailable Giroud.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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