Profile: Gervinho

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Gervinho: 2014 BBC African Footballer of the Year nominee

Since moving to Serie A from the Premier League, former Arsenal striker Gervinho has rediscovered the form that made him one of the most exciting talents in African football.

In his first season at Roma (2013-14), the 27-year-old Ivory Coast forward scored 12 goals in 37 games. Along with his team-mate Francesco Totti and Torino's Alessio Cerci (who now plays for Atletico Madrid), he provided more assists than any other player.

Roma finished second in Serie A and qualified for the Champions League for the first time in four years.

On their return to Europe's elite club competition in September, Gervinho scored twice and was man of the match in the 5-1 win over CSKA Moscow.

Roma's head coach Rudi Garcia appears to be able to get the best out of the Ivorian.

After successful spells at Beveren and Le Mans, it was at Lille, under Garcia, that Gervinho first made his name.

In his second and final season with the French club, they won not only won the Coupe de France but also the Ligue 1 title for the first time in 56 years.

Gervinho scored 15 goals in 35 league appearances during that campaign and was linked with big clubs across Europe.

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Gervinho: 2014 BBC African Player of the Year nominee.

Arsenal won the race to sign the winger and although there were some promising moments in his two seasons with the London club he struggled to find his best form.

His time in the Premier League came to an end in August 2013, just weeks after Garcia took over at Roma.

The Frenchman made Gervinho one of his first signings and the fee of about £6.25m (8m euros) is still proving to be a bargain.

Like many of Ivory Coast's big names, including the Toure brothers and Salomon Kalou, he started his career as a teenager at the famous ASEC academy in Abidjan.

It is there that Gervais Yao Kouassi first became known as Gervinho after he was given the nickname by a Brazilian coach.

Fittingly, he was the Elephants' star player at this year's World Cup in Brazil.

The tournament may not have gone as planned for Ivory Coast but Gervinho emerged with a huge amount of credit.

He scored two goals, including a memorable solo effort against Colombia, and set up Wilfried Bony's equaliser in the final game of the group stage against Greece.

If it had not been for Georgios Samaras's late winner, Bony's goal would have been enough to send Ivory Coast into the last 16 for the first time in their history.

Along with Bony and Yaya Toure, Gervinho is now one of the star players for the Elephants and scored the winner in Herve Renard's first match in charge, a 2-1 win over Sierra Leone.

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