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Injury means Arsenal striker Sanogo missed France under-21 game

Arsenal fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Yaya Sanogo for France's under-21s will have been disappointed.

Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo revealed last week just how happy he was to be playing for France's under-21 side, commenting that getting match action was vital for him.

He started in a 5-0 win over Kazakhstan on Thursday, and while he did not score, he played a part in creating a couple of the goals, winning key headers in the build-ups.

Since joining Arsenal from Auxerre he has been limited to sitting on the bench and grabbing a few minutes from the substitute's bench, under 10 minutes against Fulham and half an hour against Fenerbahce.

He was not really presented with a chance in these matches to show what he can do, so any opportunity to play at the moment is clearly vital for him, ahead of a likely Capital One Cup opportunity at the end of the month.

Sanogo was supposed to be in action for France's under-21s against Belarus on Monday evening, but did not feature after picking up an injury.

He complained to the French FA at the weekend of back pain, and subsequently withdrew from the squad to return to England.

Arsenal's medical staff will have been assessing him to ascertain if it is a serious problem or just a minor complaint, as has been originally reported.

Sanogo has a history of medical complaints, but unrelated to his back - a tibia fracture and a torn abductor muscle.

Even a short-to-medium term injury would be frustrating for him, as it could rule him out of Arsenal's Capital One Cup game at the end of the month, where an opportunity may actually have been likely.

It would also push outcast Nicklas Bendtner one step closer to the Arsenal first team, with cover for Olivier Giroud thin, or alternatively push Arsene Wenger as rumoured into snapping up free agent Ciprian Marica.

Wenger will likely provide an update as to Sanogo's condition in his Friday press conference before the Premier League resumes. For now fans should assume Sanogo will be healthy and it is just a minor muscle injury which is being dealt with, but be alert that it could transpire to be more.

image: © Julien Haler

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