London: Gervinho has spoken of his pride at being included on the ten-man shortlist for the African Footballer of the Year award.
The 24-year-old forward has been rewarded for an outstanding 12 months in which he helped Lille to the Ligue 1 title in France before securing an £11 million move to Arsenal.
The Ivory Coast international has made an impressive start to life at the Emirates Stadium, establishing himself as a regular in Arsene Wenger's first team, scoring twice and providing five assists in nine Premier League matches.
And that has helped put him in the running for African football's most prestigious individual award.
"It would mean a lot," Gervinho told Arsenal Player. "Every African player dreams of winning this award.
"I was choked to learn I got shortlisted for that award.
"There are so many good players in Africa that it's a pleasure just to know I am among the 10 best players.
"If I am fortunate enough to win it I will be very happy, even more so at my young age. If I don't win this trophy, I will still be happy to be one of the 10 best players of the year."
The striker will be forced to miss part of the Premier League campaign when he represents his country in the Africa Nations Cup early in the new year.
But he said: "It has always been like that. It is always difficult to leave your mates and your club in the middle of the season for another competition.
"I am doing it for my country so it is not in vain. It is always a great pleasure to fight for your own country."