The Worst Hair This Side of Trump Coming to the Emirates

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.

The Player
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.

Playing Time
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.

Fantasy Value
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 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).


  1. Anonymous1:09 PM

    I say deal Arshavin, if not definitely deal Rosicky and Walcott, the kid can't go two straight 90 minutes w/o turning an ankle...not to mention the futbol IQ of an under 11 player. Oh and did I mention he's only 5'5", yeah of course that's an exxageration.

  2. United needed a midfielder and Arsenal needed a central defender. So what did they buy?

  3. maybe sir alex and arsene can trade them birty.

    gervinho is listed as a RW and ST on so to me it is walcott spot that is in jeopardy.

    a long time ago, wenger promised that walcott would play the same position as henry. a right footed, striker slotting on the left side, so that he can shoot more ofter with his better foot. that was in a 4-4-2 formation. if wenger does go back to the 4-4-2 walcott could slot in there.

    i do not like the 4-3-3. it has sometimes just two people in position to score. if wenger gets two defensive players then he can go back to 4-4-2 with just Song covering the defense. if so then walcott and chamakh splitting starts next to van persie depending on matchup.

    gervinho had 15 goals and 10 assists in 33 games, so i see him as a +10 and possibly a season keeper. imagine what he can do with van persie lining up next to him and sagna behind him.

  4. I'm really looking forward to seeing Gervinho in the Prem.

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  5. @Greginho - I'll say it here in support of my earlier post about how Mo finished 7th overall in the league... we should probably eliminate the notion of a "Keeper" unless the price and production are insane (RvP at 9 over the 2nd half of last season, Bale in the 2s over the back half of the season before, etc.).

    I'm happy to have Gervinho on hand but I'm going to try to stick with what I learned by looking at the team of someone getting far better results than I did (over 3 seasons).

  6. keeping van der vaart at $6 helped out a lot.