Gervinho was linked with a move to the Premier League after winning the French title with Lille and completed a reported £10.5 million move to Arsenal in July 2011, claiming it was "one of the most beautiful days of my life''.
He spent two seasons at Le Mans, having signed from Belgian side Beveren. His debut campaign in Ligue 1 saw a goals return of just two, but he strove to build on that tally for the 2008-09 campaign, notching seven times in 33 outings despite playing in a struggling side. Indeed, his displays caught the eye of Lille, who moved to acquire his services.
It is at Stade Lille-Metropole where Gervinho began to blossom, his 13 goals helping to propel Lille into the top four. Then, in 2010, the Ivory Coast international fired home 15 times as Lille claimed the French title, their first top-flight success since 1953-54. Gervinho also played a creative role, laying on 10 goals for his team-mates.
On an international level, Gervinho represented Ivory Coast at the 2008 Summer Olympics, scoring once as his nation reached the quarter-finals. He then helped the Elephants reach the 2010 World Cup, netting a brace against Guinea during the qualifiers. At South Africa his country struggled but he nonetheless featured in their three group games.
The Ivorian's competitive debut for Arsenal was marred by a red card as he clashed with Joey Barton. He netted four goals throughout the campaign.
Strengths: He is considered a direct player, one not afraid to attack an opposing defender. His dribbling skills are his main weapon whilst he boasts a low centre of gravity, at 5' 9''.
Weaknesses: Gervinho struggles away from home and also suffers from a lack of physical presence.
Career high: Winning the Ligue 1 title with Lille. Gervinho played a key role in the club's charge for the French crown, with his goals return impressive.
Career low: Gervinho missed a penalty in the shoot-out at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations final, as Zambia claimed glory.
Style: Tricky, direct, bags of pace, a tricky forward to play against.
Quotes: "Do not compare me to [Marouane] Chamakh. I'm going to Arsenal to play and be in the action. I'm not going there to sit on bench." Gervinho, 2011.
Trivia: Gervinho's real name is Gervais Yao Kouassi - Gervinho being his nickname - although he is no relation to the comedian Ricky.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER