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Yaya Sanogo - Twice as advanced as Olivier Giroud

Arsenal new boy Yaya Sanogo compares favourably with Olivier Giroud at a similar stage of his career.

Arsenal confirmed the signing of Yaya Sanogo earlier this week and it would be accurate to say he looks a real talent.

He netted again at the Under-20 World Cup this week as he helped fire France into the semi-finals, his third goal in four games at the tournament.

So how excited should fans be about the striker? After all, the only experience he has to date apart from French youth internationals has come in France's Ligue Two.

Sanogo's scoring record certainly stands up there, he bagged nine goals in 13 games for Auxerre, a patch of form which saw Arsenal ramp up their interest in him and tempt him to North London rather than renew his contract with the French side.

To get a further measure of just how good Sanogo looks, we decided to measure his strike rate for Auxerre against another Arsenal striker who played in Ligue Two at a similar stage in his career.

Giroud was a notoriously late developer, never selected for any of the French youth sides. In fact he did not even make his debut in France's Ligue One until 2010 when he was 23.

He spent the early part of his career with Grenoble, on loan at Istres in the third tier of French football, and with Tours.

It was at Tours where Giroud finally began to start hitting the net regularly, in the 2008/09 season which he began at 21-years-old turning 22 a month into the campaign in September.

It is this season, the most prolific of his career at that stage, where he became a regular first pick for his club in Ligue Two, which we have taken to compare with Sanogo's exciting 2012/13.

Giroud's record for that season shows he scored nine goals just like Sanogo, but took 23 appearances, including 21 starts, to do so.

He took 1,822 minutes of football to bag those nine goals, working out at one goal every 202 minutes of football.

Sanogo's record last season in the same league compares far more favourably, his nine strikes came in just 911 minutes of first team action, a goal every 101 minutes; exactly half the time average period it took Giroud to register his name on the scoresheet.

It shows how advanced new addition Sanogo is compared to his new teammate - who was two years older when he began banging them in in Ligue Two.

Sanogo has also bounced back from a broken leg and then complications from it which further hampered his development. His rapid rise since is a testament to his raw ability and mental strength.

This all gives reason to admire Giroud too, who has had to battle his way to the Premier League after not having the prolific scoring record many young strikers do. A late developer it shows how he has advanced in recent years.

If Sanogo can continue his sensational start for Auxerre, and be doubling 17 goals Giroud scored in 2012/13 in all competitions by time he is 26, he will have been a very wise investment by Arsene Wenger indeed. 

image: © wonker

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