Arsène Wenger believes Gervinho has a gift that few footballers have - the ability to beat his man in the box.

The Ivory Coast international produced an outstanding performance against Stoke on Sunday, scoring one and setting up both Robin van Persie goals to earn a standing ovation when he left the pitch in stoppage time.

Wenger says Gervinho’s dynamism in the final third makes a difference to Arsenal’s attacking play and can give any defence a problem.

“It is very rare when people have that [ability to beat players in the penalty area] because you need to be quick over a very short distance without losing the ball,” the Frenchman said. “Gervinho has that capability.

“He has the capability to score and make assists. I would say as well his mobility [is key] - our game is based on that.

“His movement is great - he moves well in the final third - and he can pass people there too. We saw that on both occasions against Stoke for Robin's goals.

“Other teams are tempted to put the quickest defender on Theo Walcott but Gervinho is very quick as well. We multiply our options speed-wise with him.“

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24 Oct 2011