Young Gun Yaya Sanogo Ready to Erupt
If only Yaya Sanogo could go on a scoring rampage when it counts for the Gunners. The 21-year-old French striker who arrived to Arsenal last summer from Auxerre, seems like he on the verge shedding his unfortunate nickname, ‘SaNOgoals.’
He was given that moniker, ‘SaNOgoals,’ from cynical supporters pointing out that he has yet to net a goal in 16 appearances during competitive play for Arsenal.
There are very positive signs that this drought may come to an end soon.
Sanogo’s confidence certainly received a boost over the past week when he scored three goals in four days while playing for the French Under-21s. He netted two against Kazakhstan and one in the draw with Iceland during qualification games for the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championships to be held in the Czech Republic next summer.
He also gave Arsenal fans a taste of his nose for the goal when he tallied an impressive four goals in a preseason friendly against Benfica. The goals were not as technical as the ones while playing for his country side but he still proved that he knows how to be in the right place at the right time to score. The win also had a little bit of significance because it gave Arsenal their first win in the Emirates Cup.
While he has struggled in Premier League appearances his clinical finishes, specifically against Kazakhstan, are a good way to look forward to the future. All it takes is that first goal in the EPL to open the scoring floodgates and rebrand him into a fan favourite.
Frustrations hit a high with Arsenal supporters when only two of the seven shots Sanogo took in a 1-1 draw versus Leicester City found the target. He struggled at the wrong time because this game cost the team two points against a side that they should have beaten.
The game against Leicester will have to be a lesson for the youngster who needs to learn to capitalise on the opportunities presented to him. Arsene Wenger needs to continue to show faith in Sanogo to keep his confidence up and remind him that his recent run of goals can be converted on the EPL pitch.
The potential and talent is there and once Sanogo adapts to the highly competitive EPL he is capable of taking his talents to the next level. With Olivier Giroud likely to be out until the New Year, there is an opening presented. Danny Welbeck could be an obstacle in his way but Sanogo will not backing down without a fight.
“He’s [Welbeck’s] going to have to battle for his place in the side,” Sanogo told L’Equipe.
If Sanogo’s play can resemble any similarities to that of Welbeck, it will solidify his future at Arsenal. The sooner the better because the EPL schedule is going to pick up pace in the coming weeks.
The team has an extremely challenging upcoming stretch after the international break with fixtures scheduled against defending champions Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund in the Champion League, Aston Villa, who currently sit third in table, eighth-placed Southampton, North London nemesis Tottenham Hotspur, Galatasaray again in the Champions League, and last but not least, first place and preseason EPL favourites Chelsea.
Undoubtedly these six games to be played in about a fortnight is a daunting task. But sooner or later the ball is going to go in for Sanogo in a big situation and he will pass the test.