Yaya Sanogo confirms Arsenal departure and defends Wenger over injury hit four-year spell
The Frenchman arrived at the Emirates Stadium for Auxerre in the summer of 2013 on a free transfer but failed to make his mark, netting just one senior goal for the club in a Champions League group phase clash against Borussia Dortmund.
He’s not featured for the first-team across any competition this season and has been informed by the Gunners that his contract – which officially expires on June 30 – won’t be renewed therefore rendering him as a free agent.
In an interview with L’Équipe, Sanogo spoke in detail about what the future holds for him amid interest from Serie A outfit Genoa and insists he holds no ill-feeling towards Arsene Wenger.
“Absolutely not. He is not responsible for my injuries. He is a great manager. He taught me a lot,” Sanogo said, as reported by Get French Football News.
“A complete season, without injury issues. I dream of playing football,” he said in response to being asked what he dreams of next.
Upon arrival in north London, Sanogo was considered as one of the brightest prospects in European football as he played a starring role in the France’s victory at the U20s World Cup in 2013 – top scoring for the squad with four goals.
He was almost immediately thrust into action during his early days Arsenal, making his competitive debut in a Champions League playoff against Fenerbahce and even played a prominent role in the 2013/14 FA Cup final win over Hull City but admits injuries harmed his progress.
“Yes, quite. After our U20 World Cup title in Turkey, I was quickly thrown into the ring by Arsène Wenger. I play, notably in the Champions’ League qualifier against Fenerbahce. And then, I injure myself.
“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.”
Unsuccessful loan spells at Ajax, Crystal Palace as well as Charlton Athletic followed for the 24-year-old and he’s expressed regrets over the decision to move to Holland as he had interest from teams back home in France.
“And then there were some bad decisions, and I maybe did not always do what was necessary to impose myself.
“I think about Ajax. At the same time I had serious contacts with Ligue 1 clubs.
(With Lille and Hervé Renard notably?) “Yes, but it did not happen. I do not really want to go into this period. But yet again, I do not regret my choice.”