Arsenal FC: Gervinho Signing a Step in the Right Direction
For a team desperate to end their run of six seasons without silverware, Arsenal FC have been conspicuously quiet in the early weeks of the summer transfer window.
With legions of supporters clamoring for the reinforcements that have been obviously necessary in the last few seasons, Arsene Wenger appears to be biding his time once again, preferring to wait out the initial rushes of excitement that invariably lead to inflated transfer fees.
Always one to keep his transfer business close to his chest, away from the prying eyes and ears of the press, Wenger is both a genius, and frustratingly stubborn when it comes to new signings.
His supporters claim that his model of thrifty spending, and continual debt reduction for the club is a strategy that should be more prevalent in football, rather than the free-spending ways of several of the elite clubs in the world.
Detractors would have you believe that Wenger is reluctant to pull the trigger on potential deals and his patient nature results in the club sitting idly while other teams strengthen themselves ahead of the coming season.
Both perspectives have their merits as it seems that each of those assessments are true to some degree.
Today's announcement by the club that the signing of Ivorian forward, Gervinho, formerly of French Ligue 1 outfit Lille, should come as a welcome development to all Gunner supporters.
Gervinho's addition brings another dynamic offensive threat to Emirates Stadium, a player who can play in multiple spots up front, allowing Wenger maximum versatility in his squad.
Though he is capable of lining up as a striker, the 24-year-old Ivory Coast international is comfortable on the wings, utilizing his pace and strength to win balls on the flanks before cutting in to unleash fierce shots upon opponents' goals.
In 34 appearances for Lille in Ligue 1, he scored 14 goals and added 10 assists, making him the only player in France's top flight to reach double digits in both categories.
Over 43 total appearances in all competitions, he scored 18 total goals with those 10 assists.
He is a talented dribbler, pacy and strong and should be a welcome addition to Arsenal's attack. Depending upon further outgoing transfers, he adds significant weapons for Arsene Wenger to utilize, and will provide quality cover in the likely event of injury to either Theo Walcott or Robin van Persie.
There remains the genuine possibility of the departure of Samir Nasri or Cesc Fabregas, and even potentially Andre Arshavin. If Cesc leaves as many expect, Nasri could slot into the middle and Gervinho could see plenty of time on either wing.
We still have a nearly a month before the season begins, so we will likely witness a few more arrivals and departures before we witness meaningful football action.
However, if this signing is any indication, Arsene Wenger may be prepared to buck his frugal ways and engage in some necessary transfer business to bolster the club's chances in the new season.