Arsenal assistant coach Steve Bould has challenged Ivory Coast striker Gervinho to emulate Thierry Henry’s impact with the Gunners.
Gervinho scored his fifth goal of the season as Arsenal overcame a sluggish start to maintain their 100 per cent start to their Champions League campaign with a 3-1 win over Olympiakos at the Emirates Stadium.
After an underwhelming first season with Arsene Wenger’s side, Gervinho is showing signs of fulfilling his potential following his switch from a wide role to a more central position in Arsenal’s attack.
Gervinho looked to have an uncertain future at the start of the season after Wenger splashed out on Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.
But Wenger’s decision to make Gervinho the focal point of his three-man forward line is reminiscent of the way he gradually built his team around Henry, who arrived at Arsenal as an inconsistent winger and left as arguably the best striker in the club’s history.
“He is scoring goals so his confidence is sky high and his link play is gradually improving as well,” Bould said. “His pace and movement make his dangerous.
He can be a top player. If he gets anywhere near Thierry Henry we will take that all day long.”
Gervinho’s 42nd-minute goal, a low strike from the edge of the penalty area, put Arsenal ahead against Olympiakos, only for the Greek side to equalise on the stroke of half-time when Kostas Mitroglou punished slack defending to glance a superb header past Vito Mannone.
Arsenal were able to overcome their sloppy first half thanks to Gervinho and Podolski, who combined for the crucial second goal, while Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey came off the bench to seal the win with a cool, chipped finish in stoppage-time.