Arsenal complete signing of Lille striker Gervinho
Arsenal have completed the signing of Lille's Ivory Coast striker Gervinho for an undisclosed fee.
The 24-year-old scored 15 goals to help Lille win the French League and Cup double last season.
"It's a great feeling to be an Arsenal player. I've always dreamed to play for this club," he said.
Manager Arsene Wenger told the club's website : "He has qualities that I find very important. I think he is a very good addition to the squad."
Arsene Wenger Arsenal manager
“He [Gervinho] was the best provider in the French league with assists and he scored 15 goals”
Wenger hopes the signing of Gervinho will help bring an end to the six-year trophy drought at the Emirates Stadium.
The Frenchman was attracted by the versatility of his new recruit, saying: "Gervinho is a player that can play in a number of positions up front. He can play on the right, on the left, and through the middle."
"He has the qualities we like technically. He is good one against one, he is strong and was the best provider in the French League with assists and he scored 15 goals."
Gervinho, who has signed what is described as a "long-term contract", added: "I've achieved this dream now and I am so happy. It's one of the most beautiful days of my life."
"I'm very happy to have the chance to work with Arsene Wenger. I came here because I believe that he can improve my game and help me reach another level, but the most important thing for me is that I bring a lot to the team for whom I'm playing."
IVORIANS IN PREMIER LEAGUE
- Emmanuel Eboue, Arsenal
- Gervinho, Arsenal
- Didier Drogba, Chelsea
- Salomon Kalou, Chelsea
- Abdul Razak, Man City
- Kolo Toure, Man City
- Yaya Toure, Man City
- Cheik Tiote, Newcastle
- Steve Gohouri, Wigan
Gervinho scored 36 goals in 93 appearances during his two seasons with Lille. He has won 27 international caps for Ivory Coast, scoring six times.
He began his career with ASEC Mimosas in Abidjan, the same club that Premier League players Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure, Salomon Kalou and new Arsenal team-mate Emmanuel Eboue started at.
After a two-match tour of Asia, Arsenal's pre-season continues with a friendly in Cologne on Saturday 23 July.
The Gunners then host the Emirates Cup starting on 30 July, a tournament that also features Paris Saint-Germain, Boca Juniors, and New York Red Bulls, and start their Premier League campaign at Newcastle United on August 13.