Wenger admits Sanogo is the reason he didnt buy in January

Arsenal warm up

Arsene Wenger has been singing the praises of Yaya Sanogo today.

This January was a frustrating time for many an Arsenal fan - as they had high hopes of another Mesut Ozil like addition which eventually faded away with the signature of crocked veteran Swede Kim Kallstrom.

The one area in which Arsenal certainly looked like they needed to add a player was up front.

Olivier Giroud has been carrying the baton for much of the season - with the odd cameo from Nicklas Bendtner occasionally providing light relief.

But besides that they were barren in the striking department.

However Wenger maintained they did not need a striker and in the end they did not sign one - and now we are beginning to see why.

For the game with Bayern Munich on Wednesday night Wenger sprung a massive surprise by leaving Olivier Giroud on the bench for the game - starting youngster Yaya Sanogo in his place.

Giroud had come off the back of a tumultuous week with reports of breaking curfew and extra-marital affairs doing the rounds for the Frenchman.

While Wenger maintained that was not the reason for his omission - we like to speculate.

Sanogo was signed by Arsenal in the summer from Auxerre - and not many really believed he would be a first-team regular this campaign. Then he picked up a back injury that kept him out for months - and not many a Gunner felt he would have a big impact this season.

Now it seems his return to full fitness was in fact the reason why Wenger decided January action was not necessary in the striking department.

Speaking in his press conference ahead of the game against Sunderland tomorrow he was asked whether Sanogo was ready for the top level - to which he replied:

“I think so. He hasn't played many games and that can be a huge contribution for the end of the season, yes. [His development] played a big part in it [not buying a striker], because you compare the potential arrivals of the players with his qualities, and that was for me in favour of Sanogo.”

Sanogo certainly looks talented, very Kanu or Adebayor like in his clumsy yet effective style of play and he will certainly do his best for the team.

But you cannot help considering that Arsenal should have brought somebody in with more experience in January.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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