Former Arsenal winger Gervinho has hit back at Arsene Wenger for being the sole reason on why he decided to leave the club after just two seasons.
Gervinho signed for Arsenal from French club Lille for a fee of €12m and had a disappointing first season at the club as he appeared 37 times for the gunners and managed to score just four goals. A season later, his performances took a further dip as he had to face competition from Santi Cazorla who was signed from Malaga.
Gervinho told Gazzetta Dello Sport, “He [Wenger] never had confidence in me. As a child I dreamed of playing for Arsenal, because I loved them.
“Now I hate them for the way Wenger treated me,” he added.
Despite the move, the Ivory Coast international said he was slightly disappointed that he couldn’t showcase his talents up to the level he wanted, something that he is able to do at Roma right now, “I regretted leaving the club after such a short time without being able to show my worth, which I’m now doing at Roma instead.”
“Garcia doesn’t differentiate between those who are playing and those who aren’t playing. That’s important for a player. He doesn’t only speak to those who are playing, he talks to everyone as there are 25 players in the squad, not just 11.”
Gervinho was signed as a replacement for Erik Lamela, who was sold to Tottenham for a hefty fee. Despite early doubts, he started well at Rome and grew a firm fan favourite amongst the Roma faithful. In his 63 appearances for Arsenal, Gervinho had amassed 11 goals and 12 assists to his name. He has already gone past those stats in just 55 appearances for Roma which indicates that he has settled in well with the Serie A side. He was a key figure in Roma’s near title win last season and has carried that form into this season as he is the club’s second highest assist-maker in the current campaign. His side find themselves just three points behind league leaders Juventus in the standings.
Although he is predominantly a right sided winger, manager Garcia has deployed Gervinho in a number of positions since signing him. The move from Premier League to the Serie A, which is more tactical and less physical, has benefitted Gervinho. What was key in Gervinho’s quick development at Roma was the continuous run of games that he got when he was signed. At Arsenal, he wasn’t a starter week after week which affected his understanding with his teammates. That factor has been removed whilst he is at Roma as he has forged a strong partnership with the likes of Francesco Totti and Miralem Pjanic.