Sanogo: 'I've evolved' - The stats suggest otherwise

Arsenal forward Yaya Sanogo has defended himself against recent criticism of his performances.

Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo has defended himself from recent criticism from pundits within the media.

Several former players have agreed that Arsenal’s French forward isn’t good enough to lead the club’s attack, which led to calls for Arsene Wenger to sign another striker, which he eventually did with the arrival of Danny Welbeck.

However, Sanogo believes the criticism has been unjustified as he defended himself in Monday’s version of L’Equipe.

“Football is the football, but it’s a bit like going from 6th to 3rd once. It takes time to adapt. When you come out of Ligue 2 and you end up in a duel with [Man City's Vincent] Kompany, it is not an easy task,” he said.

“On all aspects (of my game) I’ve evolved. When you train with great players every day, you progress. When you play big teams, it helps gain experience.”

So are there any areas Sanogo has indeed ‘evolved’ so far this season based on five sets of stats?

 2013/2014 TeamPosAccurate PassHead PassTouchesBall RecoverySuccessful Final Third PassesAppsMins
Yaya Sanogo Arsenal FW 17 6 44 0 7 8 71
 2014/2015 TeamPosAccurate PassHead PassTouchesBall RecoverySuccessful Final Third PassesAppsMins
Yaya Sanogo Arsenal FW 23 3 67 4 6 2 139

His accurate passing stats, number of touches and the number of times he’s won the ball back have all increased but the number of headed passes he’s made and the number of successful final third passes he’s made have both gone backwards.

He’s also seen more game time in terms of minutes this season that he did throughout his Premier League appearances over the course of 2013/2014.

It’s a bit too early to judge because his chances of being consistent last time round were affected by the fact he was frequently being used as a substitute.

Danny Welbeck’s arrival means that Sanogo may struggle to keep the former Manchester United man out of the side unless he starts churning out impressive performances on a consistent basis.

On the one hand, it’s encouraging for Arsenal fans to see him fighting and biting back against his critics but on the other hand, the stats suggest he still has some way to go before he can add weight to his claims of evolving and having become a better striker.

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