Gervinho looks to prove Wenger wrong at Roma

Roma forward Gervinho plans to prove Arsene Wenger wrong by succeeding in Serie A.

Gervinho, Roma

The Ivorian steadily fell out of favour with the Arsenal boss towards the end of his two-season stint in the Premier League and his former manager at Lille, Rudi Garcia, offered him a fresh start at the Stadio Olimpico in the summer.

Gervinho made his Italian football debut as a substitute in a 2-0 victory at Livorno and he is eager to get another chance to impress against Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Recalling his bittersweet experience with the Gunners, he told Roma's official website: "Perhaps I could have done better there, but I really enjoyed my time in London and I'm happy to have been at that club.

"After two years, though, I needed a new challenge.

"Wenger? He's a coach I respect. He claimed I looked like I lacked confidence at Arsenal, but I'm sure I can do well with Garcia, because he knows what I can do.

"I wasn't surprised on my debut, I'm pleased to have started this new adventure with a win on the opening weekend, even though I didn't start the match.

"My fitness levels? I'm still not 100 per cent, but Garcia knows me well and knows I have to work to get up to my best."

Gervinho is not the only new face in the Giallorossi squad, with Garcia completing the signing of playmaker Adem Ljajic from Fiorentina this week while Argentinian schemer Erik Lamela was sold to Tottenham.

The Serbian could start against Hellas but midfielder Kevin Strootman and striker Mattia Destro face late fitness tests.

Missing through injury for the visitors are defender Alessandro Agostini and striker Daniele Ragatzu as coach Andrea Mandorlini looks to build on last weekend's shock victory over AC Milan.

The newly-promoted Gialloblu triumphed on their return to top flight after an 11-year absence as Luca Toni's headed brace condemned the Rossoneri to a 2-1 defeat.

Verona president Maurizio Setti said: "It was important to start well, that's three points already in our bid to survive.

"And I'm really happy with how the fans behaved and so that counts as two wins over Milan for Verona."

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