Youngster Sanogo kept at Arsenal due to lack of backup.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had hoped to send young striker Yaya Sanogo out on loan this season before being forced to keep him due to being unable to land his main striker targets in the transfer window, CaughtOffside has learned.
The 20-year-old Frenchman was snapped up on a free transfer from Auxerre this summer, but, despite his talent and potential, is inexperienced at the top level, having only made 24 senior appearances for his old club, many of those in the second tier in France.
He is also highly capped at youth level for his national side, but is yet to break into the senior fold, and there have been concerns by Wenger that he might struggle to adapt to the intensity and level of the Premier League so quickly.
Arsenal had been known to be tracking some big-name striker targets this summer, missing out on the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez, Michu and Karim Benzema, and were denied a loan move for Chelsea’s Demba Ba late on on transfer deadline day.
Having sold both Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho during the summer and now missing Lukas Podolski through injury for around nine weeks, Sanogo is now Arsenal’s only real backup to Olivier Giroud, with misfit Nicklas Bendtner unlikely to feature in Wenger’s plans after trying to force an exit from the club for the last few years.
A number of Championship clubs had shown an interest in signing Sanogo, as well as newly-promoted Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Hull City, though Wenger was reluctant to put his stamp on a move to go through before bringing someone else in, and when he failed to do so, ultimately it was decided that the youngster would remain at the Emirates Stadium for the time being.
There could still be a chance for the Gunners to sign a striker in January, and it is thought that Wenger still has his eye on Liverpool star Suarez, meaning Sanogo could still be given the opportunity to play regular first-team football and adapt to the style of play in England.
For now though, Arsenal will be hoping the in-form Giroud can maintain his current performances and avoid any injuries, with Sanogo looking like a risky backup option, though he will no doubt benefit from developing under the guidance of Wenger and the other senior players at the club.