Could this Ivorian reinvigorate Aston Villa’s fortunes?

Aston Villa manager has reportedly targeted Gervinho.He sounds like a Brazilian, but rising star Gervinho is actually from the Ivory Coast. The flying Lille forward has recently been linked with Aston Villa as Gerard Houllier looks to put his stamp on the team and make them a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League. It is imagined that Gervinho would cost around £8 million, not exactly a bank breaker in the days where good value is hard to find. Aston Villa are certainly going to need some investment in playing staff in the near future if they are to stand a chance of keeping up with the likes of Tottenham, and Gervinho could be the ideal man to add something new to the Villa attack.

Gervinho is a versatile player who can play anywhere in the attack, his favoured position is that of a winger but he is also capable of playing up front as a striker. The Ivorian is fast, skillful and can score goals and has all the qualities required to make an impact in the Premiership. Gervinho currently plays for French outfit Lille, who signed him in the summer of 2009 from after he impressed for Le Mans.

His first season was a good one, Gervinho became a key player for a side that finished in the very respectable position of fourth, in a league which is becoming increasingly competitive. Gervinho also found the net on a number of occassions, in 32 Ligue One appearances he scored 13 goals, and so far this season he has 4 goals in just 8 league outings. Gervinho’s age is also attractive, he is only 23 years old and thus he still has a lot of potential to improve as a player.

Gervinho certainly looks like a player who is going places and I think he would suit Aston Villa nicely. Ashley Young and Stewart Downing are both good players, but I see them more as creative wingers who will provide assists rather than offering a consistent goal threat, which is something Gervinho can do. Villa’s frontline could do with bolstering also, Gabby Agbonlahor is the club’s top striker and has proven he is an effective player, but John Carew seems to be fading somewhat and Emile Heskey, although recently re-energised, cannot be relied upon to score goals frequently.

Gervinho would give Villa options going forward, and he offers something a bit different to what the club already have. With exciting young players such as Marc Albrighton and Nathan Delfouneso also breaking through, Villa would have real strength in depth in attack and this will be needed if the club are to push onwards and improve.

In my opinion the appointment of Gerard Houllier as the club’s manager was a good one, it may not have been greeted with universal enthusiasm but the Frenchman is vastly experienced and has a superb knowledge of the game. Houllier certainly made some gaffe’s when signing players for Liverpool, but he also brought in some real gems and he will have learnt a lot from his experience at Anfield. If he did decide to bring Gervinho to Villa Park, I think it would definitely go down as one of his better acquisitions.

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