Gervinho is not one of the first players that took the world by storm but failed to live up to the expectations. He was not only famous for his skills but also the way he looked and ran. He was fast, medium height, long hair and wore a headband. He is best known for his stint with Arsenal.
Gervais Yao Kouassi also known as Gervinho who was born in Anyama on the Ivory Coast. He started his career at ASEC Abidjan Youth Academy, and it was here that he was given the nickname Gervinho by the Brazilian coach.
Soon Gervais joined the Ivorian Deuxieme Division Zone Four club Toumodi, where he played with future stars like brothers Kolo, Yaya and Ibrahim Touré.
After spending two years there he moved to the Belgian side Beveren where he scored 14 goals in 16 matches.
He then moved to Ligue 1 where he played for Le Mans alongside compatriot Romaric. He failed to impress the French franchise and he managed just 2 goals in his debut season. He then just managed just 9 goals in 59 matches and was then sold to Lille where he started to get recognition. He scored 13 goals in his debut season and went on to score 18 goals in the second season. From here he was on the list of every manager and big club in Europe and the UK where the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Newcastle United were eager to sign him. Eventually it was Arsene Wenger who was able to secure his signatures.
Gervinho was then bought by Arsenal in 2011 for £10.8 million and was given the No.27 jersey which was previously worn by his compatriot Emmanuel Eboue. He scored in his first match for Arsenal in a pre-season friendly, but his Premier League debut didn’t go according to plan as he was sent off.
Gervinho failed to live-up to expectations that were expected, and he was not the goal-scorer that the Gunners thought they bought and wanted but, he was a team player which helped him stay at Arsenal to two years. He ended his Arsenal stint with 9 goals in 46 matches and was then signed by AS Roma who wanted him to score goals. Gervinho was able to make his place in Roma’s starting eleven and he did disappoint and improved his game to match the standards of Italian outlet.
He scored 17 goals in 71 fixtures but he scored on crucial times for Roma and that’s what helped him stay at the club.
The headband monster then decided to play in China where he was paid handsomely but it was only a matter of months when he then realized that China is not for him. Then injuries came his way, and he raptured the ligaments in his left knee which took plenty of time to heal and due to not recovering he missed the 2017 African Cup of Nations.
Then on the 17th of August 2018 he returned to Italy signing for Parma. There he is doing his best work, but the truth is that he has lost some of his pace and ball control.
Unlike his club career, he has had a very celebrated international career even captaining his country’s under-23 side and scoring 23 goals for the Ivory Coast since 2007
He was first called-up for Ivory Coast in 2007 and has been in the team ever since despite having players like Didier Drogba who plays in the same position, and yes, they both wear headbands.