Gervinho living the dream

Gunners new boy confident Wenger's men can challenge in 2011/12

Gervinho: Admits the opportunity to move to England was too good to pass up

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Gervinho has expressed his delight at securing a move to Arsenal, allowing him to fulfil a childhood dream.

The Ivory Coast international has penned a four-year contract with the Gunners at the end of a protracted summer transfer saga.

His switch from Lille dragged on longer than planned, but Arsene Wenger has got his man and Gervinho is looking forward to testing himself against the Premier League elite.

The 24-year-old forward told L'Equipe: "I am so happy. Negotiations lasted a long time because there were several details which needed to be sorted out between the two clubs.

"But finally Lille and Arsenal found an agreement and I am experiencing a real happiness. It is a dream that has come true.

Idols

"The most difficult thing for me was leaving (Lille boss) Rudi Garcia. He still needed me and I still needed him. But in football there are some things that you cannot turn down.

"I have dreamt about Arsenal since I was a kid, since my time in Jean-Marc Guillou's academy in the Ivory Coast. I have always dreamt of playing for the team where Patrick Vieira was so strong. He was one of my idols.

"Several clubs were interested in me and I never closed any doors. I listened, but I really wanted to discover the Premier League."

Gervinho added: "Are Arsenal an ill club? I don't believe they are. They have just experienced some difficult moments, losing key matches. Anyway, an illness can be cured.

"I will play on the right flank, my best position, but the coach knows I can play on the left or down the centre. I will try to be as efficient as I was at Lille."