Striker Yaya Sanogo Officially Signs with Gunners

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2013

(Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
(Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Arsenal has made its first signing of the summer, reaching an agreement with former Auxerre striker Yaya Sanogo.   

From Arsenal's official website:

Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that French youth international Yaya Sanogo has joined on a long-term contract.

The 20-year-old striker, who joins as a free agent after leaving Auxerre, made a total of 24 appearances and scored 11 goals during his time with the Ligue 1 side.

The club's release added:

Arsène Wenger said: “Sanogo is a good young signing for us. He has shown that he has potential with his recent performances for Auxerre and also for the France Under-20 side. We are looking forward to Yaya joining us and continuing his promising development.”

The deal is subject to the completion of formal registration processes, with Sanogo joining up with his new team-mates after his participation in the Under-20 World Cup.

This is a pretty savvy and typical Wenger signing, as the manager loves bringing in young players on the cheap. He may have landed a gem in Sanogo. 

The young striker has all the tools to become a deadly finisher for Arsenal. He's big and physical but fast and skilled. He can hold up play or run behind defenders and exploit the spaces between them. He has excellent touch but is also a threat in the air. 

Of course, he is also very injury prone and has missed significant time over the past three seasons. He has immense ability, but he has also proven to be brittle in his young career. Arsenal fans may be shuddering at that thought while thinking of another Frenchman on the roster, Abou Diaby, who has also struggled with injuries. 

When healthy, however, Sanogo is a force. In back-to-back games this February, he exploded to score a combined seven goals. For France at the U-20 World Cup, he's registered two goals and an assist in three starts. 

It remains to be seen how much playing time he'll receive this year. With the team heavily linked to Gonzalo Higuain and both Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski on the roster, Sanogo could find appearances hard to come by. 

But with the entirety of his career ahead of him and the potential to blossom into a special player, it may not be long before Sanogo is a regular fixture in the Gunners' lineup.


Follow TRappaRT on Twitter