Gervais Yao Kouassi, or 'Gervinho' first made his name in professional football at Beveren, in Belgium. The young forward had played at youth levels in Abidjan and at Toumodi FC in his native Cô te d'Ivoire, but became a full professional in Belgium at the age of 17. Gervinho impressed in two seasons and moved further in Europe to France with club side Le Mans â€Ã¢â‚¬Å“ where his compatriot and Ivorian superstar Didier Drogba had previously made his name. His good form and impressive attacking style persuaded Lille to make the move for Gervinho in 2009, for €6 million.
Taking up the number 27 shirt, Gervinho became a mainstay for Lille on the left and the right wing, and occasionally through the centre of midfield. The 2010-2011 season was his breakout year at club level, where his 18 goals in all competitions helped Lille to a historic French league and cup double. It was only a matter of time until bigger teams came for him, and in July 2011, Arsene Wenger signed him for Arsenal for approximately £11 million. With a season on average to poor form at Arsenal Gervinho moved to Italian outfit AS Roma for the 2013-14 season. Gervinho was part of the side whcih won their first eleven matches in a row in the Serie A.
Taking up the number 27 shirt, Gervinho became a mainstay for Lille on the left and the right wing, and occasionally through the centre of midfield. The 2010-2011 season was his breakout year at club level, where his 18 goals in all competitions helped Lille to a historic French league and cup double. It was only a matter of time until bigger teams came for him, and in July 2011, Arsene Wenger signed him for Arsenal for approximately £11 million. His Arsenal career – wearing shirt number 27 – got off to a bad start with a red card on debut; but since he's scored four times in his maiden Premier League season.