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Where Is Yaya Sanogo Now? Former Arsenal Player Joins Armenian Club After 20-Month Wait

Where Is Yaya Sanogo Now? Former Arsenal Player Joins Armenian Club After 20-Month Wait

Arsenal’s former manager and unarguably one of the greatest coaches that the sport has ever produced, Arsene Wenger once said in an interview:

“You build a player like you build a house. First comes the basement, the base of the player is the technique. Then the second part is the physical aspect, the first floor. Then the second floor is the tactical aspect. Does he have an understanding of the game?”

Wenger was an active voice in promoting and nurturing youth players in football. So in 2013, the Frenchman signed a young player from Auxerre and brought him to the Emirates Stadium. He was a promising prospect and still goes by the name of Yaya Sanogo. 

At the time, Yaya was a 20-year-old who had joined one of the biggest clubs in Europe and had the world at his feet. He was just coming off the back of winning the U-20 World Cup with France and nothing could have gone wrong for him when he had the backing of one of the most revered managers in the football business.

Unfortunately, a lot went wrong for this youngster who became one of those unfulfilled stories in the realms of football when a player falls from grace, only to never return.

Yaya was at Arsenal from 2013 to 2017 but had four loan spells at Crystal Palace, Ajax, Jong Ajax, and Charlton Athletic, respectively. The French international couldn’t hold his ground and secure a place in the starting XI for long at any of those clubs. 

At Arsenal, Yaya won the FA Cup and the Community Shield, but his contribution to both these victories was invisible. The only honour to his name at Arsenal is his goal against Borussia Dortmund, which fired Arsenal into the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League in 2014.

Despite the confidence of the manager, Yaya could never make himself a sure selection for Premier League games. It was then that Arsenal relieved him in 2017 and Yaya had no option but to return to France to play for the Ligue 1 side, Toulouse. 

It was a similar story at Toulouse as well. Three years later, Yaya was once again released and found his way to the Championship side, Huddersfield Town, in February 2021. He failed to make his mark and was let go after just nine appearances. 

The young guy who was touted as the next ‘Thierry Henry’ by Arsenal fans had no club to go to at 29. 

Wenger is gone but his words about how to build a player might echo in Yaya’s ears. Maybe the formative years of his game were not on par with what is expected out of players who play at the top level.

For the next 20 months, Yaya went looking for clubs and knocked on the doors of many who could hire him. 

Fortunately for him, Yaya now has a club he can call home. On January 27, 2023, the Armenian Premier League club, Urartu announced the signing of Yaya. 

At last, the player has a club roof over his head and can start afresh, leaving behind all those years of struggle in England and France.