'Like Usain Bolt' - Arsenal star Yaya Sanogo praised by Wenger and ex-players

Arsenal warm up

Arsenal's Yaya Sanogo has been attracting praise for his starting debut for the club.

One of Arsenal and France's brightest talents, Yaya Sanogo has not had much of a chance to prove it thus far.

A back injury sustained with the French under-21 squad in September had wiped out his season up he returned to training in late January.

With Wenger already knowing what Nicklas Bendtner could do, and Olivier Giroud rested, the chance for Sanogo to prove his credentials came at The Emirates against Liverpool in the FA Cup.

The striker did not let his side down, playing a part in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's goal, and led the line well throughout.

Manager Arsene Wenger was enthusiastic after the game, stating: "For a first performance he was excellent. He was always in the game, he was a handle for them.

"It's his first official game basically, he played one game in the reserves for 60 minutes. Considering the intensity of the game, he was absolutely excellent."

Two ex-Gunners were also enthusiastic about Sanogo after the game, with Ian Wright telling BBC 606: "Sanogo did do really well."

Martin Keown elaborated during commentary on BBC 5 Live, praising the striker's pace: "He was like Usain Bolt there.

"He really fought for his team. Not a bad start."

Sanogo lasted 88 minutes before being brought off to applause from the home support.

The stats bear out the various plaudits coming his way. With five aerial duels won, it was more than any player on the pitch.

He worked hard, making one tackle and interception, but unfortunately neither of his two shots landed on target.

It's simply progress for Sanogo to be playing, and it should be remembered this time last season he was performing in France's Ligue 2.

Certainly he did himself no disservice yesterday, and all plaudits received were well deserved.


image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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