Sanogo has revealed that it was Wenger who personally convinced him to commit to a transfer creating an almost direct opposite to the much higher profile and more expensive transfer of Higuain from Real Madrid.
The latter especially is an intriguing deal considering the calibre of clubs reportedly interested in the Argentinian forward and the greater chances of immediate success those teams guaranteed.
Arsene Wenger deserves massive credit for convincing two very talented attacking players to join the club but what exactly might he have said to them?
“I was very impressed. Monsieur Wenger had come to see me directly in Paris. He told me that I would have my chance and reassured me about my injury,” Sanogo told France Football.
Bear in mind Arsenal will now have a very busy and clustered pack of forwards heading into next season so while Wenger has made that promise to Sanogo, it’s difficult to see where that chance is going to come from, at least regularly. It will be up to him to make an early impression when he is thrown in to show he deserves further opportunities rather than playing with the under-21s.
Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Higuain would all be ahead of him in the pecking order so he’s not going to get a very long run of Premier League games straight off the bat.
The obvious counter argument is that Walcott and Podolski will both play as wingers, similarly to how they played last season.
However, both players have already voiced their desire to play up front and in Walcott’s case, he signed a new contract on the understanding that he’d be playing as more of a centre forward.
The injury angle isn’t really an issue because Sanogo is undoubtedly a very talented player and Wenger is not naïve enough to dismiss the chance of snapping someone up just because they have an injury or a history of injury problems.
Higuain is the more intriguing deal to understand because it’s very different from convincing a 20-year-old to sign from Auxerre.
Higuain is a much older and much more established striker, used to success and used to being in a side that goes into each season with a huge chance of winning the Champions League.
His decision to apparently agree terms with the Gunners has to be based on the promise of success Wenger has made because if Higuain wanted the money, he could have stayed at Real Madrid or gone to a club like PSG in France.
If Wenger has promised Higuain, who unlike Sanogo has not commented publicly on his transfer, that Arsenal are going to win the Premier League, domestic trophies or the Champions League then it’s not going to be that swift or that clear cut.
Domestically Arsenal are still very much behind several other English clubs and that isn’t going to change just because the club has thrown some big money at a couple of forwards.
In terms of Europe Arsenal also look a million miles off the pace at the moment so if Wenger has told Higuain, ‘we’ll win the league in x number of years or next season’ it’s a poorly thought out promise.
However, it doesn’t really matter. The issue is getting the players to the club and then adding further talent around them. It will take time and the Gunners will win trophies again but it’s very doubtful that’s going to be the case this coming season.
What sort of promises do you think Wenger’s made to them both?
image: © Jan S0l0