Arsenal are reportedly eyeing a summer move for French U-21 international and Auxerre forward Yaya Sanogo.
Yaya Sanogo has been turning heads with his recent performances for French Ligue 2 side Auxerre. The 20-year-old recently scored seven goals in two back to back games. During Auxerre’s match with Laval last month Sanogo scored four goals to give the away team a 5-4 victory over their rivals. He followed that up with a hat-trick against Tours at the Stade de l’Abbé-Deschamps, which gave his side an improbable victory after they went behind to two early goals.
But it is not only his performances in those two games that has attracted attentions from top European clubs – Sanogo has been prolific in the youth system for France as well. In 2008 he made his debut for the French U-16 side and scored 18 goals in 18 games within a year. He joined Auxerre’s youth system back in 2010 as a 13-year-old kid but didn’t take to settle down as he scored and amazing 25 goals in 14 appearances. He has maintained similar goal scoring record for the French U-17 and U-19 teams as well, but off-late his development as a footballer slowed down as he struggled with injuries.
He recovered from a fractured tibia in 2011, which kept him out of the game for six months and it was feared back then that he might never return the same footballer. But although his rehabilitation has taken longer than expected, he is now showing signs of being back to his best.
Sanogo was on Arsene Wenger’s radar long before he joined the Auxerre’s youth team. In fact Arsenal and Tottenham wanted to sign him back in 2009, but he chose stay in France. But Arsene Wenger is back once again and reportedly he is lining up the 20-year-old for a move in the summer, where as other reports from French media states that Arsenal have already started negotiations. Worryingly for Auxerre, Sanogo’s contract is set to expire this year and he yet to sign a contract extension and this means that the French club could lose him for free.
Arsenal’s squad is expected to undergo significant changes in the summer with Wenger removing dead-woods from the squad and bringing in new faces. But it is yet to be seen if the Gunners will be able to attract big names if they fail to qualify for the Champions League – in which case Wenger might have to resort back to talented yet unproven young players like Sanogo. But either way, the U-21 international will be a great addition to the squad which desperately lacks another striker.
The 6’ 3” young striker is strong in the air and despite his height, he is exceptionally agile. He has the skills to take on and go past defenders with pace and as his stats shows – he is an extremely calm finisher. Like most of the young and talented French forwards – Sanogo has drawn comparisons with Theirry Henry. But his similarity with Henry doesn’t end with similar style of playing, before signing a youth contract with Auxerre, Sanogo played for a local Parisian club CO Les Ulis, which is incidentally where Theirry Henry started his career as a young footballer.