Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Ivory Coast international forward Gervinho has finalised his switch to the Gunners, joining the Club on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.

Gervinho, 24, arrives at Arsenal from French side Lille, with the paperwork surrounding his move now approved. The Ivorian helped Lille to a Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double last season, scoring 18 goals in 49 games in all competitions.

The campaign capped a very successful two years for Gervinho, during which time he netted 36 times in his 93 appearances for Les Gogues. Before joining Lille, Gervinho enjoyed two seasons with Le Mans, also in Ligue 1.

On the international stage, Gervinho captained the Ivory Coast in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and also represented his country at the 2010 World Cup, scoring twice in just three substitute appearances during qualification to the finals. To date, Gervinho has made 27 appearances in total for Les Eléphants, scoring six goals.

The forward, who came through the same Ivorian youth academy - ASEC Mimosas - as Emmanuel Eboue, before following in the right-back’s footsteps to join Belgian side KSK Beveren, will immediately join up with his new team mates for pre-season training.

Manager Arsène Wenger said: “Gervinho is a player that can play in a number of positions up front.  He can play on the right, on the left and through the middle.  He has qualities that I find very important, like his movement off the ball.  He has the qualities we like technically.  He is good one against one, he is strong and was the best provider in the French league with assists and he scored 15 goals. I think he is a very good addition to the squad.”

After completing his move to the Gunners, Gervinho said: “It’s a great feeling to be an Arsenal player. I’m very happy. I’ve always dreamed to play for this Club. I’ve achieved this dream now and I am so happy. It’s one of the most beautiful days of my life.

“I’m very happy to have the chance to work with Arsène Wenger.  I came here because I believe that he can improve my game and help me reach another level, but the most important thing for me is that I bring a lot to the team for whom I’m playing.”

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18 Jul 2011