ESPN Soccernet - On The Move
15.31 We're hearing that Gervinho's move to Arsenal in a £10.5 million deal from Lille is all but a done deal. Confirmation imminent.
With the news that Gervinho is extremely likely to arrive at The Emirates, here are some quick thoughts.
My expectations range from "good" to "very good" as a player. He will add an element of speed that Arsenal only currently have when Walcott is healthy/playing/in form. He is also likely to be a little more refined than Theo which is nice. I don't think he will be a superstar in the Premier League but he certainly should be a more than solid contributor.
Here's the big question since Arsenal are already pretty well stocked with attackers who like to play in similar spaces. I think we can all agree that Bendtner is gone but he really didn't get much playing time when everyone was healthy so that doesn't open up much for Gervinho. That brings up the possibility that Gervinho is a preemptive move to replace one or more of the players rumored to be leaving. If the rumor mill is to be believed then Nasri is the most likely to need replacing but here's my theory: Gervinho looked to me, in limited viewing, like more of an Arshavin replacement as far as positioning on the field and skills than a Nasri replacement.
If you consider that Wenger essentially replaced Bendtner last season (with Chamakh) then this move could the the continuation of a trend in which he is buying logical replacements a year ahead rather than waiting until a player is gone to replace them. Arshavin and Gervinho could split that spot in the starting line-up this season with Arsh leaving in January or next summer once Wenger is comfortable that Gervinho is settled and up to the task.
If my assumption above is correct, this will be a really annoying situation for fantasy managers. Position-sharing is one of the more annoying things that we have to confront as we look to put our teams together. If I'm wrong and Arshavin is sold over the summer paving the way for Gervinho to start regularly then I'll be very excited about him in the Yahoo! format and at least somewhat excited about him in the PremierLeague.com format (where his initial price will inevitably be higher). I will be even more excited if he is listed as a midfielder in one or both formats.
Regardless of the above, I'm happy about this move although there are others that I'll be happier about (see, Samba, Cahill, and Hazard).