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Saturday 16 December 2017

Wenger: Cup goal will give Gervinho a lift

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger believes Ivory Coast forward Gervinho will take confidence from his goal in the African Nations Cup and return a better player for the Gunners.

Gervinho's winner in the semi-final victory over Mali set up a meeting with Zambia in the final on Sunday.

Gervinho's participation in that game rules him out of Arsenal's trip to Sunderland in the Premier League tomorrow.

But Wenger is keen to see him back in an Arsenal shirt as soon as possible.

"It was a cracking goal against Mali," Wenger said. "They (Ivory Coast) were the better side, but he made the difference. They scored only one goal, Gervinho made it and you can say he scored it on his own because he started on the halfway line and finished in a cool way.

"Sometimes he rushes his decisions a little bit but I was very happy that he kept calm and finished in a very controlled way.

"That's great news for his confidence and his country as well because I believe they are the best team in Africa by a big distance at the moment. Hopefully they will get rewarded in the final.

"He creates those dangerous situations but the coolness he misses a little bit. That can help him to do that. I feel he proved that with us.



CONFIDENCE

"Who doesn't want to be a hero in his own country? That will help him to be recognised in his own country and therefore boost his confidence levels."

Wenger has revealed that midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has had an operation on the ruptured knee ligaments he sustained while on loan at Wolves. Wenger said: "He had surgery on Thursday night, unfortunately. He had what we have seen so many times; one cruciate (goes) and then the other as well.

"It's a tough time because he was doing very well at Wolves.

"But hopefully we can get him back in the autumn."

Full-back Kieran Gibbs has recovered from groin problems which have sidelined him since the start of October, and could be included in the Gunners squad for the trip to the Stadium of Light.

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