Arsenal close to signing French U21 striker Yaya Sanogo

"Yes, I have signed Yaya. No, not that one." - Shaun Botterill

Arsene Wenger says a deal's not complete, but the young striker is close to joining Arsenal on a Bosman transfer.

According to Arsene Wenger, the transfer season is starting early for Arsenal, as he's close to securing France youth international Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer from Auxerre. Sanogo is a striker, and this would appear to be a move more for the future than anything else, as he hasn't yet played a full season for the Auxerre first team. He has, however, managed 16 goals in 24 games, so that's not a bad sign.

What's less of a good sign is Sanogo's injury record. A double leg break in 2010. More related injuries in 2011. A thigh injury the next year. In all, Sanogo's biggest problem is not that he hasn't played a full season - it's that he spread 24 games over the course of three seasons. The injuries are recurring, which is probably part of the reason he's available.

But it's also possible that Auxerre simply won't be able to afford him. His skill is undeniable (evidently), as he's touted as similar to Aston Villa's Christian Benteke (who's scored 19 goals so far in his first season in England). He's big - 6'3" - and strong, but he combines that with pace and skill. He has a good first touch, he can finish, and he can play with back to goal, and generally sounds like he has all the attributes to succeed through the middle. Auxerre will be in Ligue 2 again next year, and Sanogo has potential. Why stay in Ligue 2 if you don't have to?

This isn't probably going to be the purchase that takes Arsenal to the next level next season, though if he stays healthy it sounds like he could be at least a minor contributor. But if he can break his horrible, awful injury streak, he sounds like one who could develop into a Real Player. So frankly, if it's a Bosman (compensation will be involved, but not a full transfer fee), this is a good move for a talented young player.

EDIT: Just saw this on Twitter, and thought it would be a good addition to the story. All you amateur scouts can check him out, hopefully.

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