Yaya Sanogo: Former Arsenal striker speaks out about his last year as a free agent

For long-term free agent Yaya Sanogo, his profession wasn’t meant to finish up the best way it has. Next year marks a decade since a interval that promised a lot.

In 2013, the French striker was nominated for the European Golden Boy award, the identical year that noticed him win the Under-20 World Cup with France and safe a dream transfer to Arsenal.

Now 29 and the height of his soccer years transferring swiftly behind him, Sanogo has been with out a membership for the previous 12 months, ever since his six-month stint at Championship membership Huddersfield Town got here to an finish.

Take away that temporary spell in England’s second tier, then the previous Gunners striker has been with out a membership, earnings or competitors for 2 complete seasons.

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Sanogo's last stint in soccer was a short-term spell at Huddersfield within the second half of the 2020/21 season

“The worst moment is Saturday and you can’t play,” he solely tells Sky Sports. “You cannot be aggressive, that is the onerous bit.

“There’s frustration. The pressure and the adrenaline of the weekend – I miss it, I miss the pitch.”

Since he performed his last Arsenal sport in late 2014, Sanogo has had three uninspiring mortgage spells at Crystal Palace, Ajax and Charlton. The subsequent 18 months introduced about simply 21 league appearances and three targets – all of which got here in a single match for the Addicks.

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Leaving Arsenal completely in 2017, a three-year stint at Toulouse supplied a slight enchancment with 17 targets in 66 matches, however Sanogo could not cease the French aspect from being relegated from Ligue 1.

He departed on a free switch within the midst of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic – and barring the temporary, goalless spell at Huddersfield last time period – has not been seen since.

Sanogo's profession so far

  • 2010-2013: Auxerre – 24 video games, 11 targets
  • 2013-2017: Arsenal – 20 video games, one purpose
  • 2015: Crystal Palace (mortgage) – 11 video games, one purpose
  • 2015-16: Ajax (mortgage) – six video games, zero targets
  • 2015: Charlton (mortgage) – eight video games, three targets
  • 2017-2020: Toulouse – 66 video games, 17 targets
  • 2020-January 2021: Free agent
  • 2021: Huddersfield – 9 video games, zero targets
  • 2021-22: Free agent

Toulouse have provided Sanogo some respite by way of the means of standard coaching over the previous six months – however selected to not signal him on any phrases as they secured promotion again to Ligue 1.

“I train there in the week,” he provides. “The weekly plan is the same as having a club, I’m there every morning and there’s two sessions a day – but I don’t play on the matchday.

“There’s no earnings both. It’s onerous while you’ve obtained nothing coming in, when it comes to cash. I’m fantastic on that entrance, because of God. The hardest bit is getting your self again into competitors.”

Alongside being kept out of first-team duties at Toulouse, come the near transfer misses. Sanogo was close to joining a “massive membership in Switzerland” in January however the deal fell by way of within the last minute.

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Sanogo has been coaching with former membership Toulouse, who haven’t provided him a contract

“You’ve got to be mentally strong, this last year has been one that has asked a lot from me,” he says. “My family and I are together all the time, I’m a big family man.

“We converse a lot, they inform me to be robust mentally however they know I’m like that. ‘Keep going, preserve robust, keep optimistic. That’s life, typically.’ That’s crucial bit for me, they have been there with me all by way of this time.”

It wasn’t meant to be this hardy for Sanogo – who began his 20s by enjoying within the Champions League with Arsenal however is ending them in soccer’s no-man’s land.

In 2014, the younger French ahead had began a European knockout tie for Arsenal in opposition to Bayern Munich, then performed in and gained the FA Cup last for the Gunners.

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Sanogo helped Arsenal win the FA Cup in 2014

“I was young when Arsenal first said they were interested. It was difficult to adapt at first because you were playing with all these stars. But Arsene Wenger gave me the chance to play for a big club at 19.

“The climate, the language, the tradition was all tough to get used to however I tailored properly at Arsenal by way of onerous work.”

Sanogo’s pinnacle moment came in November 2014, when he scored for Wenger’s side against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group stages. He would go on to play just one more game for the club.

“Everyone goals of scoring within the Champions League,” he recalls. “That Dortmund purpose was a tremendous second – and an essential one too as we certified for the knockout phases with that win.

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Sanogo performed 20 occasions over 4 years for Arsenal, scoring simply as soon as

“I already had some big moments in my career at such a young and early age – I was 19 or 20 at that point with a lot of unforgettable experiences.

“But after that, I needed to play extra. I requested to be loaned out however the boss did not need me to go away. He had already given me a lot of sport time however instructed me to be a bit extra affected person.

“But when you’re young you want everything straight away. I still told him to loan me out and he couldn’t understand why. After going out and doing these experiences, I should have been more patient.”

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Sanogo's want to play meant he pressured Arsenal to ship him out on mortgage

Now there is no time for regrets. Sanogo turns 30 initially of subsequent year and the subsequent few weeks will decide whether or not he can ever return to full-time soccer.

Three groups in Scotland have registered curiosity in him this summer season, in response to the Frenchman, together with varied golf equipment in Switzerland and France.

“I hope to find a club quickly, that would make me happy,” he says. “I need to find the joy of the pitch again, the taste of it.

“I’ve all the time obtained goals, however you could have the membership first to get these goals. You by no means know…”

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