Arsenal eventually completed the signing of the young French striker Yaya Sanogo on Monday. Sanogo has been signed on a free transfer as his contract with his former club Auxerre had expired at the end of the last season.
Sanogo played for Auxerre for 3 years between 2010 and 2013. He featured for the Ligue 1 side in 24 matches during that period and netted 11 times.
Sanogo is currently representing France in the U-20 World Cup. He is expected to join the Gunners for the pre-season training in a few days.
Talking to the reporters about Sanogo’s signing, the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said, “I am excited to work with Sanogo. He is a fine, young talent. I was very impressed seeing him play for Auxerre in the last season. I hope he continues progressing well here at Arsenal.”
Sanogo himself was also ecstatic after the completion of his signing. Talking to the reporters, he said, “I am very happy to have got the opportunity to join a Premier League club. I had a decent last season and I am hoping to continue my good form at Arsenal.”
“Arsene Wenger personally visited me in Paris and offered me the contract. I couldn’t have said no to him. I had a positive chat with him. He told me that I would get my chances at Arsenal.”
There is no doubt about the talent of Sanogo. He has tremendous speed and strength and if he is in top nick, he can be more than handy. But, his fitness is a real issue. At Auxerre, he had to deal with an injury or two every season.
However, there are not too many managers in the world who knows better than Arsene Wenger how to develop talent. Let’s see how he deals with this young bloke.
Arsenal managed a 1-0 win over Fulham during the weekend, which propelled them back into the top three of the table. Arsenal were extremely fortunate to not only come out with a victory, but with a clean sheet. Fulham had several chances over the course of the match despite playing with 10 men for much of the 90 min. Midfielder Steve Sidwell was sent off following a straight red card in the 12 min after his tackle on midfielder Mikel Arteta. The red card was extremely debatable because Sidwell did not have two feet off the ground.
Arsenal managed to take the lead in the match through a set piece goal from defender Per Mertesacker. Despite this victory, Arsenal will have reasons to be concerned in the remainder of the season. They played against 10 men for most of the match, but they were able to create any clear-cut opportunities. As in every other match, Arsenal dominated the possession, but they were not able to convert them into chances. Arsenal also had a man sent off late in the match when Oliver Giroud was given a straight red card.
After the match, Wenger said that the referee was right in giving the red card to Steve Sidwell.
“I think the referee could only give a red card [to Sidwell]. We will see [if Arteta is okay]. He played the second-half. I don’t know how much damage is done. It is a kick, a bad kick. I don’t know if he has twisted his ankle or not. In these kind of things it is a question of a fraction of a second. If you are fully on your foot at the moment you get it you break your leg. If you ease a bit off maybe that is why he got away with it,” said Wenger.
Tottenham and Arsenal will be renewing their rivalry once again during the weekend. This match is also extremely important as it could determine the Champions League future of both the clubs. Arsenal and Tottenham are currently fighting to finish in the top four, with Andre Villas-Boas’ men slightly edging this contest.
Due to the home advantage and good run of form, Tottenham are expected to clinch this encounter. This would enable them to open a significant advantage over Arsenal in the table, but the German international Lukas Podolski thinks that this match alone will not determine the top four positions this season. Continue reading DERBY DAY
Arsenal’s German striker Lukas Podolski has expressed his confidence that the club will be able to overtake their London rivals Chelsea to the third place in the Premier league. Chelsea are currently third in the Premier league after a disappointing season, while their London rivals Arsenal are further behind in the table. Despite their lowly sixth position, Podolski still believes that they can catch Chelsea, who have several points advantage with only a few months of matches remaining in the calendar. Arsenal have to overtake Tottenham and Everton before they can catch Chelsea. The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has always made it a priority to finish in the top four rather than winning major trophy.
After having qualified for the Champions league consecutively for the past 16 seasons, Arsenal are in danger of missing out on the competition. Chelsea and Tottenham are the main rivals for the fourth position. Podolski has submitted that the slow start to the season has cost Arsenal their place in the top four at the moment, but he is confident that they will be able to recover in the remaining few months of the season. Even though he has not set the world alight on fire, Podolski has managed to score eight goals in 23 appearances for Arsenal this season.
“We must fight for the Champions League places and this is our focus. We want third place and we have a lot of matches to play. We are in the FA Cup and the Champions League but the focus must be on the Premier League. We wanted to finish first but we lost a lot of points in the first half of the Premier League and now the difference is too big. The other teams are really strong so we must fight in every game,” said Podolski.
This weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures commence with fifth place Arsenal’s trip to Wigan Athletic.
The Latics are currently in the relegation zone on goal difference having stretched their winless run to four games with defeat at Norwich City last weekend.
Their only win in their last seven games came against bottom of the table Reading four weeks ago, though victory this weekend could take them as high as fourteenth place should other results fall in their favour.
Roberto Martinez will be without several key players, with Adrian Lopez and James McCarthy joining Gary Caldwell, Antolin Alcaraz, and Ivan Ramis on the side-lines, while Ben Watson is out until at least February with a broken leg.
Top scorer Jordi Gomez is 14.0 (13/1) with Bet Victor to get the first goal of the game, while you can get odds of 4.5 (7/2) for him to hit the back of the net at any time during the game.
Wigan are as highly priced as 5.0 (4/1) for the victory, with Arsenal available at 1.75 (3/4). The draw is 4.0 (3/1) with Bet Victor.
The visitors 5-2 win at Reading last time out secured back to back league victories for the Gunners for only the second time this season; a third win here would elevate them to third place ahead of Tottenham and Chelsea’s fixtures later in the weekend.
Arsene Wenger has no fresh injury worries, with long term absentees Andre Santon and Abou Diaby still the only players missing.
Santi Cazorla bagged a hat-trick in that rout in Reading, and the Spaniard is available at 9.0 (8/1) to open the scoring.