Forgo Sanogo, Summer’s A No Go

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
May 18th, 2013

Say that title five times really fast. Social media exploded yesterday with the news that Arsenal are close to signing Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre on a free transfer. In true Arsenal style we are set to sign a relatively unknown player from France and in true Arsenal style a section of supporters have blown a gasket over what they perceive to be a poor signing.

This summer promised to be a close season of quality, big name signings so I could understand the reaction to this news if it was August, as the last time we commented on a player joining before the season had ended it was Podolski and his reputation was/is huge, but it’s not, it’s May. An argument can be put together that Arsenal’s squad, based on February onwards’ form, doesn’t need enhancing too much but I’m not going to make that argument.

Expect FM scouts to claim they knew about him all along

Expect FM scouts to claim they knew about him all along

What I believe our form of late shows is that with a few tweaks we do have a squad capable of challenging and despite having said “this is our year” for a number of seasons I feel this one is different, so much so that I am going to bet on sports next season and put my money where my mouth is on Arsenal fixtures.

So would Sanogo improve the squad that much I’ll be rolling in it by betting on Arsenal? Probably not but that is working on the assumption that he is going to be our only signing, a mistake many seem to have made.

Arsenal are going to have a pretty big clear out this summer so it makes perfect sense to supplement the squad we are keeping, and experienced players we will buy, with quality young players. And he’s on a free transfer to boot so what’s the big deal? I don’t like the term deadwood so I won’t say we will be getting rid of any but I do think we are going to massively streamline. What remains of the squad, minus new signings, will be our very best players or players who offer a lot to the team.

Also, as my twitter buddy Christopher Flanagan said:

I see people complaining about not having Benteke or Lukaku all the time. Unproven young physical strikers from so-called lesser leagues. *Ahem*Sanogo*ahem*. Sanogo isn’t the summer signing, he is mostly likely just the first summer signing. A common complaint this season is that we have no-one to back-up Giroud, assuming Sanogo signs, now we do. We want competition for places and in more that one way. We want competition from a range of styles and we want competition from similar styles too.

Don't buy young unproven players....

Don’t buy young unproven players….

Say we bought Rooney, not everyone’s cup of tea but he’s a striker so I’m using him for comparison. Rooney would be competition for Giroud (or the other way round) in a one striker system and Wenger would rotate them based on a combination of opposition and form. Let’s now say that there is a game that Giroud has been earmarked for because of his style but he has become too comfortable or isn’t pushing himself because he knows he is a shoe-in for these matches. What then? Do we persist with a player who is off-colour or do we change our game plan and play Rooney?

Or do we go with option C which is to play Sanogo? His style matches Giroud’s closer than Rooney’s so we wouldn’t need to adjust our tactics too much and if Yaya performs he gets a run and Giroud will have to perform even better to win his spot back. Who wins? Arsenal wins because it doesn’t matter who plays as long as we are winning right?

In this scenario we now have real competition. Rooney and Giroud are fighting it out to play the majority of games and Sanogo is putting pressure on them both as the young buck wanting to prove himself. Complaining about Wenger making such a signing when the 1st of September is so far off is just lazy and pointless criticism. As Darren said on Twitter:

People moaned when United “beat” us to the signing of Zaha and I wonder what level of football he plays at?

Signing a young prospect doesn’t mean we are forgoing the opportunity to sign experienced players. It means exactly what it means; we are signing a young prospect. Nothing more to it. We sign young players all the time and it’s never stopped us from signing experienced players. In fact this signing in some ways reminds me of the signing of Van Persie. Not in the sense that we’ve bought a young player who may spend most of his time at the club on the treatment table only to then force a move to another club. But in the sense that Robin was 20 years old and plying his trade in a “poorer” league and he was signed to complement a team of experienced players.

What we have now overall is a team of experience. Players like Wilshere, Szczesny Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey have a few years in the Premier League and the Champions League under their belt despite being young and players like Gibbs and Walcott have been in the side/squad for 5-6 years despite being under 24 and the rest of the team are 25-32 year old players; experienced players. The balance is good so adding a young prospect like Sanogo makes perfect sense and echoes the signing of Van Persie.

If Sanogo turns out to be our only summer signing then we should rightly kick up a stink because it’s not like we’re short of a few bob at Arsenal but the transfer window isn’t open until Monday so there is literally nothing to be gained from complaining about what is currently a potential signing.

Come September 1st I’m reasonably confident we will all be celebrating the excellent business the club has done over the summer and we’ll look back on Sanogo and say “And we got that French kid Sanogo, he looks a quality prospect”.

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

29 Responses to “Forgo Sanogo, Summer’s A No Go”

  1. Gunner Galactico says:

    Spot on!

  2. S.T.A says:

    Sanogo will turn a prospect at the long run Wenger go for him but get real qualites to gell average players in the team.I mean,an experienced players.Tanz.Up guners.

  3. Dog says:

    Dude are you actually comparing Rooney with Giroud?
    Not in the same league and you also completely overlook the valuable contribution Rooney has made to RVP’s success.
    Rooney has been outstanding playing behind RVP and was an integral part of UTD’s run away title.

    Sorry but I am just not a fan of Giroud, 11 goals from an out and out striker is poor considering the talent in our midfield feeding him through balls.

    • Steve Carson says:

      I could be wrong mate but I didn’t take it that he’s COMPARING Rooney to Giroud. He was using Rooney as an EXAMPLE of another main striker we MAY get to COMPLEMENT Giroud and be used/rotated with him based on opponents. Respectfully reread post

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I don’t think he understood that. It’s cool though.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Dude… Are you seriously reading that? The only “comparison” I made was Giroud and Sanogo being similar. Read it again.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Also, you talk about the quality of our through-balls etc but it’s actually been a “weakness” of ours. The midfield/strike-force are all basically new and need time to gel and get in sync. Judge Giroud on his goals next season when he’s actually had a chance to sync up with Santi’s wavelength.

  4. Dog says:

    … and Giruod’s record against top teams is dismal.
    We need a striker who can see ore against any team not just lower table teams.

  5. V Kamhiripiri says:

    You 100% correct the league he was playing in doesnt matter its what he can do that matters and besides he is for free!

  6. @babakrdaemi says:

    Great article. My fear is his injury record and our record of not compensating for such weaknesses in the squad.

  7. potter says:

    Actually we need both ,had we had a player of Girouds ability we might not have played RVP through his injury periods and might have got more out of him . Say we get Villa and he is injured early on , then you have to utilise your squad and that it is important that we spend wisely , not neccesarily marquee all the time. We have always had a team capable of beating the rest but not the squad to back up the inevitable injuries and suspensions.

  8. Tom says:

    Dog, you’re totally missing the point, which was, we play usually with 1 striker, so if we sign a quality striker Sanogo could be a good 3rd choice, and I believe well worth a punt for free. you would imagine his wages would be modest. Besides, you admit it yourself, you’re not a fan of Giroud, but a lot of us are. Having seen every Arsenal game this season I cannot fault his work rate, commitment and think he has had a pretty decent first season with some good finishing and link up play. Lets hope we sign an out and out goalscorer and that Giroud can kick on from here.

  9. shadi says:

    @Dog, did you understand the article?

  10. Steve Carson says:

    Once again you’re spot on with common sense mate. Isn’t that against the law or something? Rational thinking, what a concept.

  11. thetruth says:

    We need to spend £100 m to compete for Trophies and sack the Manager.

  12. Another excellent article Daniel, everyone needs to remain calm. We’re obviously going to sign other players but Sanogo sounds like a decent but of business in the meantime.

  13. John maeqa says:

    The problem is we r always quick 2 judge, lets n see wat happens in the summer b4 we start complaining. Sanogo is coming on a free which is an advantage to us, who knows he may turn 2b our mr.dependable, say it aint so mr.Laurent Koscielny!!

  14. Abayomi says:

    I totally disagree!!!! I thought we still have Joel Campbell???? Who says Sanogo will get a playing time at arsenal? Please ask vela.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      What do you disagree about? The point of the post was to say we shouldn’t get worked up about Sanogo just yet because the transfer window isn’t even open. Do you think we should be hopping mad about it?

  15. Kevin Mayers (FB: Eppy Taff) says:

    Great piece as ever Daniel and I certainly agree with your sentiments. You know my thoughts on the current squad and their definite basis (and gelling together – after all, most foreigners need a season, ours have settled quicker for the most part) as a side that will challenge for, or win, major honours next season.
    I don’t quite agree with Dog (I think that’s happened before..) when he intimates that Giroud is basically not of the quality required. Ok he may not be absolute top-notch (how many are?) but he’s done a decent job in his first season. As for his point about Rooney making RVP look better – who’s to say he wouldn’t have the same effect on Olly?
    The Sanogo signing will be a good one IMO. You can’t knock the goods without trying them out over a long period. Surely that’s how all these top reviewers in whatever fields they work, go about things? Give the boy a chance. Then we’ll see.

  16. Kevin Mayers (FB: Eppy Taff) says:

    I’ve seen you promoting it Daniel. I’ll get there sometime believe me! Often so much going on around me & trying do little things bouncing around the net – then I found Gunners Town too. Jeez! I already subscribe to your blog and 3 others. I may be a long way from the ground but can’t get enough of the club… I’m glad I don’t say anything controversial (time will tell, heh) and I’ll take what you say as a compliment. Thanks 🙂

  17. Cupsui says:

    well written Dan…

    but the management can never please anyone…its just funny how no matter what they do its the same crowd coming out and complaining!!

    Free transfer of a player, with boat loads of potential and tall, strong and fast by all reports…i say well done!

    and to “Dog” i would compare Rooney to Giroud and right now be glad we have Giroud. I think Rooney would bring nothing but discontent and arrogance to the side, disrupting the team and system…and to boot he is one of the most overrated overhyped players in world football HISTORY!
    Giroud has shown steady improvement all season and will be stronger with a year under his belt. A late bloomer that is developing well. His hold up play is very underrated and it has take arsenal a while to adjust to how best to use it. And in the air there is no better player in the EPL, if our team could learn to cross he will bag 20+ a season easily

  18. Nir says:

    The most worrying thing about signing Sanogo is his injury records. Also, can he compete with Giroud or another potential (big-name)Striker? Where do this leave the future of Chuba/Gervinho?
    Considering the fact that he is a free signing, its understandable. Still, we shall pay his salary….and sometimes its hard to get them off the book if they arent successful with us…aka chamakh/bendtner/park. Because we have got so many average strikers already, the signing, for me, would have make sense if it was made once we sell those we already have here.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      It’s a free transfer. It makes sense to wrap it up early before other clubs show their interest. Don’t worry, we’ll be seeing at least 6 “senior” players leave the club this summer and it won’t be ones we’ll miss terribly.

  19. ian says:

    Sonogo is worth a shot but wenger can’t let him fail like so many have done over the last 2 or 3 years. As for giroud, I think he’s missed more clear chances than any striker in the world this season and I don’t think we deserve 4th place. I think and hope we will of course and with santi in the team we always have a chance.

    Rooney probably won’t be lighting up the emirates next season but surely we will get a top striker in and sonogo to be a backup might not be bad at all. Plus we would be able to switch to a 442 from time to time.

  20. John says:


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