Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo is almost certain to go on loan this January. Many would prefer a move within the Premier League, but French side Girondins de Bordeaux have emerged as strong favourites to win the race, and their chances increased even further this week.
Malian striker Cheick Diabate has been ruled out for three or four months, and the huge centre-forward who has scored eight goals in 15 games will be a massive loss for Willy Sagnol’s team going into the second half of the season.
Sagnol was already keen to bring in Sanogo to cover Diabate’s time at the African Cup of Nations, but with his absence now set to exceed a few weeks, the former France and Bayern Munich defender is said to be desperate to land the 21-year-old in order to supplement his attack.
The timing, although it is awful news for Diabate, would be perfect for Sanogo. The Arsenal man would be almost guaranteed to start as many games as he could handle. The pressure of spearheading the Girondins attack, at the top end of Ligue 1, should be the perfect opportunity for Sanogo to develop his game further.
Bordeaux’s chances of landing Sanogo increased further with the news that young striker Enzo Crivelli is available on loan this month. Third division side Istres are known admirers, and if Sagnol is willing to let the 19-year-old leave the club, he must be very confident of landing additional cover during the January transfer window.
Bordeaux currently sit sixth in Ligue 1 after 19 games. They have 31 points and are only five points off their goal of Europa League qualification. They have scored 26 goals this season, but will miss Diabate’s presence, giving Sanogo a huge hole to fill. It's a daunting task, but it would also be the ideal place to develop and gain the confidence needed to return to Arsenal as a much more complete striker.
Moving from Auxerre in Ligue 2 to the Premier League was always going to be a huge leap. Many believe Sanogo should have spent time in Ligue 1 before making the move to England. Now is his chance to prove he is too good for France’s top division.