There is an art to unearthing young, unknown talent. They come raw and wild, needing to be formed into a finished product. Sometimes, you emerge with a useful player; sometimes, a star. And, yes, sometimes you get Yaya Sanogo.
‘I’m free. The adventure ends.
'My left calf is healed. It kept me off the pitch for nearly seven months. I came back in January, with a fitness trainer. I was able to play again for the Arsenal reserves. It was very hard when I was injured. You feel so mentally alone. There is virtually nobody at your side.
‘The injuries stunted my progress, there were moments where I was good. I remember the summer of 2014 when, during the Emirates Cup, I scored a quadruple against Benfica.
‘And then there were some bad decisions, and I maybe did not always do what was necessary to impose myself.’
Sanogo was signed in 2013 as a young 20-year-old, coming off a decent campaign in French Ligue 2 side Auxerre and fair performances for France in the U20 World Cup. There wasn’t much to truly wow but he appeared to have the makings of a biggish, moderately speedy striker to grow into the squad. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
A string of injuries and some unimpressive loan spells at Crystal Palace, Ajax and Charlton Athletic killed any momentum the player may have had a time, leaving him no spot in the squad. In the end, he managed 20 appearances for Arsenal but fortunately avoided the permanent nickname of Sanogoal, scoring his one goal for the team against Dortmund in the Champions League, of all places.
Happy Trails, Yaya. Hope you find your consistency and can live the dream. At least, we’ll always have the memory: