Gervais Yao Kouassi (born 27 May 1987), commonly known as Gervinho, is an Ivorian footballer who plays as a forward or as a winger for English Premier League club Arsenal.
Gervinho was born in Anyama, the same town as Sevilla striker, and Ivorian international Arouna Koné.
He began his career in the famed ASEC Abidjan youth academy, where he spent five years. At ASEC Abidjian, he was given the Brazilian style nickname "Gervinho", derived from his first name Gervais.
Following this, he moved to Ivorian Deuxieme Division Zone Four side Toumodi F.C., where he turned professional.
At the end of the 2006–07 season Gervinho moved to French Ligue 1 side Le Mans, where he played alongside Ivorian international midfielder Romaric. He scored two goals in his debut season in Ligue 1, with one of them coming against AS Nancy. Gervinho scored 9 times in 59 Ligue 1 appearances over 2 seasons with the French side.
It was announced on 21 July 2009 that Gervinho had joined Lille, for a reported fee of about €6 million (8.5 million USD) on a three year contract. In his first season he scored 13 times in 32 appearances for the side. In his second season, he made 42 appearances in all competitions, scoring 18 goals to help Lille win both the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France.
On 12 July 2011 Gervinho completed a transfer from Lille to Arsenal for a fee believed to be around £10.5 million. He made his debut in a pre-season friendly match against 1. FC Köln, in which he scored a brace within the first 15 minutes. He was sent off on his Premier League debut against Newcastle United for slapping Joey Barton. The game finished 0–0. This resulted in a standard three-match ban for violent conduct. He scored his first league goal in a 4–3 loss to Blackburn Rovers.
Gervinho in 2008 Summer Olympics
Gervinho captained Côte d'Ivoire at U21 level.
He was named in the Ivorian senior squad for the first time for the friendlies against Angola and Qatar in November 2007, and was picked for the Ivorian squad for their 2008 African Cup of Nations campaign in Ghana where he was given the number 10 shirt. He made his competitive debut for the Ivorian team during the 2008 Nations Cup where he made two substitute appearances.
He represented his country at the 2008 Olympic tournament where he was captain. After Côte d'Ivoire lost to Argentina in the first match, Gervinho scored one goal and set up two others in a 3–2 victory over Serbia.
On 15 January 2010, Gervinho scored his third international goal in the African Nations Cup group stage game against Ghana. He made a total of three appearances in the tournament, scoring once.
Gervinho made only three appearances, all as a substitute, in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup but still scored twice. On 15 June 2010, he played his first match in a World Cup. He played 82 minutes in Côte d'Ivoire's opening match in Group G against Portugal, which ended 0–0. In total he made three appearances in the World Cup.