Last updated: 18 november, 2011 - 14:46 GMT

BBC African Footballer of the Year 2011: Expert's view - Gervinho

It’s always great to see new faces breaking through and Gervinho has steadily made his mark on European football and become a regular starter in Ivory Coast’s over-crowded attack.

Here in Abidjan he’s highly rated and for the last two years he’s been named Ivory Coast’s best footballer; food for thought for those who might prefer Yaya Toure.

He has the best name, the best haircut and he’ll probably turn up to the award ceremony if he wins

John James

Furthermore, he’s a winner - and awarding him the prize would crown an incredible season as the leading play-maker with small French-side Lille, helping them to the domestic double with 18 goals and numerous assists.

His transition to Arsenal has been solid, and he’s quickly become a favourite with the fans, scoring two goals in his first 15 minutes in an Arsenal shirt, in a pre-season friendly.

He is an attacking exciting player to watch, using his slight frame to dribble through tight spaces, and as he settles into life in the English Premiership he’s bound to make an even bigger name for himself.

Finally, but perhaps less importantly, he has the best name, the best haircut and he’ll probably turn up to the award ceremony if he wins.

There are bigger beasts in the African football jungle, but with recent winner’s medals in the trophy cabinet and a career on the up, Gervinho would be an exciting choice as the new face of the game in Africa.

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