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Arsenal's Gervinho to be coddled after Africa Cup

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he will not rush Gervinho back to action after his African Cup of Nations duties.

The speedy attacker will head off to south Africa with the Ivory Coast team for the 2013 tournament which kicks off on January 19 and concludes on February 10.

Gervinho may link up with the Ivorians as early as January 5 meaning he may miss around a month of club football and Wenger wants to ensure he does not burn out.

"The Africa Cup of Nations starts on January 19, and usually the players have to be there 14 days before - that means we could lose Gervinho on January 5," Wenger told the club's official website.

"Usually it's always a battle to get him to play in the FA Cup third round. When they come back, the players have played a massive competition.

"Last year, we never [got] him back completely because he came back with a disappointing result and we didn't give him any rest.

"Maybe we have to do it a little bit differently when he comes back [in 2013]."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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