By Joe Brewin

Gervinho says it is an honour and a privilege to be nominated for the African Footballer of the Year award.

The winger has enjoyed a successful start to his Arsenal career since his summer move from French champions Lille, scoring twice and providing a number of assists.

Gervinho is on the shortlist for the CAF award alongside Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng and Chelsea man Didier Drogba among others.

“It would mean a lot. Every African player dreams of winning this award,” Gervinho told Arsenal Player. “I was choked to learn I got shortlisted for that award.

“There are so many good players in Africa that it’s a pleasure just to know I am among the 10 best players.

“If I am fortunate enough to win it I will be very happy, even more so at my young age. If I don’t win this trophy I will still be happy to be one of the ten best players of the year.”

Gervinho is expected to represent Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea from January, and is likely to miss up to four weeks of the Premier League campaign.

“It has always been like that,” he said.” It is always difficult to leave your mates and your club in the middle of the season for another competition.

“I am doing it for my country so it is not in vain. It is always a great pleasure to fight for your own country.”

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24 Nov 2011