Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed Gervinho following the forward’s brace in Saturday’s 6-1 win over Southampton at the Emirates Stadium.
The Ivorian was joined by Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott on the scoresheet alongside two own goals from the visitors, as the Gunners ruthlessly defeated the recently promoted Saints.
And Wenger was understandably delighted with the 25-year-old’s efforts in a central position, joking: “You know we transform all the wingers into central strikers!
“I decided that during our tour of Asia, when I tried to play him in that position against Man City, I liked what he did and I put that in the back of my mind.
“He is such a great mover and he is so quick that when he wants to get ahead of the central defender, it’s difficult to catch him.”
The Frenchman also expressed his happiness with the north London club’s overall showing against Nigel Adkins’ men and praised the contributions of Podolski and Santi Cazorla.
“The first 45 minutes were of a high level. We had a good combination of pace, passing, quick combinations and the movement was excellent,” he said.
“We want (Cazorla) to have the ball and I think he typifies what the midfielders in Spain are (like); technically perfect, great vision, and a great team attitude.
“(Podolski) is physically strong and a fantastic finisher. I had a little hesitation whether to play him or Gervinho centrally but he gives us a balance on the left which I didn’t want to destroy.”
Meanwhile, Southampton boss Adkins admitted it has been a difficult start to the season for his side, after defeats to three of last season’s top four.
“We’ve played the three best teams in the league. We’ve got a good group of players, we know we can score – we just need to become more resilient,” he said.
“We will quickly move on, we will have a great week’s training in order to prepare us for the next game.
“We have learned a lot about everyone today. We believe in what we’re doing, we believe in how we play. Next week I’m sure St Mary’s will be bouncing and the players will work hard and we’ll be ready for the next home game.”