Get Yer Ya-Yaís Out

By Albin Mouton

Mr Sanogo has left the building

After four years, 20 competitive games and one single official goal, Yaya Sanogo has been released by Arsenal. Without any official appearance this season, the Frenchman failed to impress, even on loan.

"When I started to play Anelka, everybody said: 'Why are you starting with Anelka, why not buy a striker?'". Looking back when ArsŤne Wenger said that about Yaya Sanogo, the Arsenal manager couldnít have been more wrong. Of course, Anelka won the title and became a £20 million sale for the club after arriving for only £500,000 from Paris Saint-Germain. Unfortunately, history didnít repeat itself. But how could Wenger know the young striker would fail him? Well, he gambled but that didnít pay off. Signed on a free transfer in 2013 with a relatively insignificant wage salary, Arseneís bet was a long shot but a safe one.

Why sign Sanogo in the first place?

ďWhen I first knew of him, he had not played. He had been out for two-and-a-half years. At 16 years of age he was a very promising strikerĒ said ArsŤne Wenger to the official Arsenal website back in 2014. As a youngster, Yaya Sanogo was one of the best of his generation. With the French under 16ís team, he scored an average of agoal per game. In a youth tournament that took place in Japan in 2010, he was rewarded by the best goal of the tournament with a magnificent overhead kick.

In 2013, alongside Paul Pogba, Lucas Digne, Kurt Zouma and Samuel Umtiti, he won the Under 20 World Cup with France. Scoring four goals during the competition, Sanogo played a big part as the starting striker.

At Arsenal

ďIn pre-season I saw he was under-strength and not ready muscularly. We decided to take him completely out and try to build him up for four months - two months in France and two months with us. When he came back on January 1, I saw he was a different animal.Ē After his 14 appearances in his first season, the Frenchman failed to score any goals. Even with the help of an intense physical training, he still didnít quite adapt to the type of football played in the Premier League. But the start of his second season looked promising. With four goals against Benfica during the Emirates Cup in August 2014, everyone thought that could be the beginning of what ArsŤne hoped. But obviously, things didnít go that way at all. During the 2014/2015 season, Yaya Sanogo managed to score his only official goal for Arsenal helping the Gunners securing a 2-0 at win at home over Dortmund.

Even through disappointments and bad games, Arsene Wenger always stood behind his player. In February 2014, after a 2-0 loss against Bayern Munich at the Emirates in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, the French manager said : "There's a potential there. Sanogo is world champion of the Under-20s, if he was an English centre-forward and was world champion of the Under-20s, you would not ask me these questions. It's as simple as that.Ē Questioned by the press for starting Sanogo over Giroud for this crucial game, Wengerís aggressive response at the time showed his frustration and that he didnít want to talk about the Giroudís situation. In fact, the night before a win against Crystal Palace, The Sun revealed that Olivier Giroud was with the model Celia Kay in his hotel room. The ex-Montpellier player had to make excuses and admit that he had committed a mistake but not adultery. Wenger said he benched him for reasons related to his performances but it probably was a sort of punishment for his behavior. Anyhow, Yaya Sanogo started upfront and the game ended the same way it always does against Bayern Munich. What was actually frustrating is that Arsenal had many chances and opportunities to win the game. So, what if Giroud actually played? We will never know but the team paid for Giroudís mistake that convinced Wenger to make the decision to start the match with Sanogo. His lack of experience at the Champions League level didnít help Arsenal that day.

Injuries and irregularity

At 24 years old, Yaya Sanogo has already suffered several major injuries that kept him away from the pitch for too long. Before coming to Arsenal, he almost quit football due to a crippling injury. In September 2010, he broke his leg and suffered from knee trouble for a while after. In 2013/2014, his back forced him out for five months. He missed four months the next season because of a hamstring injury. Last season, on loan at Charlton Athletic, he missed ten months of competition due to a calf injury. But even when he was not injured on loan at Ajax during the first six months of the 2015/16 season, Sanogoís performances didnít convince at all. Under Frank De Boer, the Frenchman only accomplished 30 touches in 47 minutes. The Dutch coach even said: ďWhen I see Sanogo, I still have my doubts. I have still found no qualities with which you can do something.Ē

After four years at Arsenal, Yaya Sanogo can now find a new club to bounce back. With his fighting mentality and his perseverance, he might. He just has to avoid further injuries. He definitely wasnít Arsenal material but he could still forge a decent career elsewhere.

14th June 2017 09:40:56


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

The Man From UNCLE  11:44am 14th Jun 2017

A signing that sums up the state that the club was in at the time. Kenny Sansom did once say, that the other 10 players wouldn't blame the one useless one on the pitch....it was the manager who picked him. No further comment necessary. - Post No. 108030

mbg  12:03pm 14th Jun 2017

When I first knew of him he had not played, he'd been out two and a half years but had a lot of promise, that's all you need to know, typical wenger signing ticks all the boxes and still does, young, hadn't played, injured, has promise, one for the future, watch this space. Albin apologies if commas and full stops are in the wrong place, but i'm sure you'll not come on and try and score ridicules brownie points about them. wenger out. - Post No. 108032

peter wain  13:55pm 14th Jun 2017

poor signing typical of Wenger. thinks he can walk on water. One free transfer only this summer makes a joke of the season ticket prices. - Post No. 108037

mbg  15:33pm 14th Jun 2017

Peter Wain, and thinks he can turn water into wine too something his AKB wengerites strongly believe in also, LOL. Wenger out. - Post No. 108038

equalizer  16:40pm 14th Jun 2017

I heard he was signed as spare parts for Diaby. - Post No. 108043

Arseneknewbest  17:51pm 14th Jun 2017

Albin - You'll be able to re-produce this article - word for word save the names - when the diminutive Asano-san joins Sanogo, Lupoli, Vela, Aliadiere and Park as hapless and ineffectual strikers that have passed through our former club. Feo will surely be added to the roll of dishonour but not before helping wengo bleed the club dry of funds, dignity and genuine fighting spirit. GG, on the other hand, got the absolute best out of strikers like Smudger and Wrighty not to mention some of the lesser lights such as El Pel, Sooper Kev and Ian Allinson. The groundhog has well and truly got its teeth into wengo's atrophied ballbag. - Post No. 108046

Bard  17:56pm 14th Jun 2017

equalizer great post, really funny. His signing tells you all you need to know about where we are at under Wenger. A cheap gamble who joins the lengthening list failures, one that includes Kallstrom and others. Im led to believe we are planning to challenge for the title this season. I think we need to give Theo another bumper contract to give us a real boost. - Post No. 108048

mbg  22:09pm 14th Jun 2017

equalizer, post of the day, but be careful you might have that other long absentee AKB back complaining, remember him ? the one who used to defend diaby to the hilt and his messiah for keeping him, and the new contracts he used to award him. You couldn't make it up. wenger out. - Post No. 108050

markymark  0:02am 15th Jun 2017

Arseneknewbest - OMG you've just reminded me of Aliadiere, I knew I was being easy on the secretion posting from TOOAW. Ps: Reverend BrIan Badarse I won't be posting tomorrow if that's ok with you. No winking with your parishioners please. - Post No. 108051

Badarse  10:38am 15th Jun 2017

Mark of Nark you are excused my son, now get up off your knees because people may put two and two together and get five as you sometimes do, ah, numbers eh? 24601 where are you? Stop counting your money for a while and stop by to say hello. - Post No. 108052

MAF  11:59am 15th Jun 2017

the truth will out. ALexis did say there was only one Team in London and Whinger span that one if u all recall. in Facts ist chelsea on Alexis' mind and who can blame him. Conte is an ex Player with Passion bursting out of his funeral day suits. Alexis is a chilean and he Needs to feel the Passion. laid back alsace Professor doesnt cut it - Post No. 108053

Issue #269 - Out Now!

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