Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that the signing of injury-prone 20-year-old forward Yaya Sanogo is a gamble.
The Gunners signed the French under 21-international from Auxerre on a free transfer in the summer but Wenger is confident that Sanogo will prove his quality if given time.
“He’s a bit of a gamble,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website.
“Not because of his talent and quality, but because of the injuries he’s had.”
“Basically for two years he didn’t play. But I spoke to him very early in the year, back in January, and told him that I would give him a chance at Arsenal.”
“He has the qualities, the size and strength, so I think he will be all right. But we know we have to build him up, because a guy who has not played for two years at that level needs some adaptation time to get his body ready for the physical intensity.”
Sanogo has made just two appearances for the Gunner’s off the bench since his arrival at Arsenal but is now recovering from an injury picked up while on Under-21 international duty with France.
Wenger however has backed the youngster and said he will impress as soon as he regains his fitness, but the Arsenal fans will have to wait at least six months to see the youth international in action.
“We need to be patient with him,” Wenger continued.
“He is a traditional number nine, but he’s a technical player as well. He uses his body well, has a good presence in the box and has the nose to know where to be on the pitch.”
“The ball always goes to him. He can be a prolific goal-scorer and a huge talent.”
“Overall he has a great desire to improve and to win. What he needs now is for his body to not give him any problems, and what we need to do is get his body into the right condition.”
“For me it will take six months or so of work before we really see what he can do,” he concluded.
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