Arsenal's Secret Weapon: Yaya Sanogo Can Hit Double Figures This Season

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2013

Arsenal fans are understandably concerned at the cub's failure to make a major signing this summer.

Despite being linked with a host of stellar players, the Gunners are yet to dip in to their sizable transfer budget to secure a marquee name.

However, they have made one signing, France U-21 international forward Yaya Sanogo. Having seen his contract expire with Auxerre, Sanogo has crossed the channel to join the French contingent at the Emirates Stadium.

Sanogo's signing has made few headlines, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger seems confident that the forward's impact will be considerable. Speaking to a press conference on the eve of the Emirates Cup, Wenger said:

We have signed Sanogo. He has not made the headlines. Why? Because he is not £50m to £100 million but I am quite confident he will make them soon on the pitch, and that for me is the most important.

It's clear that Wenger views Sanogo as an important part of the first-team squad. While another young forward, Joel Campbell, has been loaned to Olympiacos, Sanogo has been kept in London and even made his debut in last weekend's Emirates Cup.

After the match, Wenger told Arsenal's official website that he was impressed with the youngster's debut:

Yes [I was pleased with him]. Considering he just came back from holiday and only had three or four days of practice, what he did is encouraging.

There is plenty of space for Sanogo in the Arsenal squad. With the BBC stating that Marouane Chamakh is set to join Crystal Palace, Sanogo looks set to inherit the Moroccan's place in the squad as back-up target man behind Olivier Giroud.

Sanogo seems certain to be handed a start in the Capital One Cup and perhaps even the FA Cup. As Arsenal's second choice centre-forward he also looks set to make the bench for most Premier League games.

With so many potential opportunities to impress, Sanogo could be the surprise package of Arsenal's season.

In many respects, he's a typical Wenger signing. He's young, French, and beleaguered by injury problems. However, he is undoubtedly a talent.

Sanogo has been capped at almost every level throughout the age groups, and scored a remarkable 18 goals in 18 games game for the U-16s before being named captain of the U-17s.

His career was nearly derailed by a double leg-break suffered on international duty in 2010. But he appears over the worst. After returning from another lengthy lay-off in December 2012, he scored nine goals in his first 12 games.

The French player is capable of adding to Arsenal’s goal tally by reaching double figures this season—especially if Arsenal fail to add another striker to compete with Olivier Giroud.

Sanogo began his career with CO Les Ulis—the same small club where Thierry Henry's career began. While he may not go on to emulate Henry's achievements in an Arsenal shirt, he is certainly capable of having a significant impact.