Yaya Sanogo’s career could have been so different had he opted to give up playing football for Auxerre and take up a job as a postman.
His alarm would go off in the morning before the sun had risen over the houses across his street. He’d stumble downstairs, make his breakfast, put on his shorts and satchel and then off he’d go, walking up and down driveways delivering letters for nine hours a day, now and again getting chased by a vicious dog.
But, as his future career as a postman loomed, he got a call from Arsenal and now he plays for one of the biggest teams in the world. He wakes up, he plays football and he gets paid an awful lot of money to do it.
It’s now one year on and he has an FA Cup trophy to his name. It’s quite a story.
However, despite the FA Cup, he has little to show personally. He has had a modest start and although he had looked lively in the games he has played, he hasn’t scored.
At only 21 years old, with little experience and previous injury problems, the English football was always going to be tough.
The only way to gain experience and grow as a player is game time and therein lies the problem.
With a big summer expected at Arsenal, with one or two new strikers expected to be joining the ranks, game time will be extremely limited for Sanogo next season. In fact, barring the odd game in the Capital One Cup, it wouldn’t be unsurprising if he didn’t feature at all next term.
With that in mind, he would be best served heading out on loan for a season or two in order to get some much-needed experience under his belt.
A drop down to the Championship would be ideal, be it at a club looking to get promoted, or a club looking to avoid relegation. Either option would allow him to work hard and become an important part of the team.
Should he be successful, the two most important things he’ll gain from it would be comfort and confidence.
Comfort in as much as he becomes familiar with English football. The physicality and pace is one aspect and the passion of the fans is another. Confidence is essential. As a striker he must be confident in his own ability to be an important part of a team and score goals.
He does also need to improve technically, and that is something a move to a Championship club would allow him.
Photo by Dave Pearce