The 21 year old striker put in solid shifts against Liverpool and Bayern Munich as Wenger opted to rest Olivier Giroud.
The French manager revealed that Sanogo’s return from injury played a part in his decision not to bring in another striker in the January transfer window.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
I think he is ready to make a big difference. He hasn’t played many games and he can make a huge contribution until the end of the season.
It played a big part [in my decision not to sign a striker] because you compare the potential arrivals with his qualities and that was for me in favour of Sanogo.
Wenger also insisted that Giroud remains totally focused ahead of Saturday’s clash against Sunderland, despite the French striker’s recent off-field issues. He added:
Giroud is completely focused. He is a strong, strong man, I must say. I’ve seen many people and he is a strong guy.
We know our weaknesses and strengths. Some of us when we have problems outside the field use the pitch to forget about our problems and some of us are different. But he is focused completely on the match.
Wenger surprised many people on Wednesday night when he selected the inexperienced Yaya Sanogo ahead of Giroud for Arsenal’s crunch tie with Bayern Munich. The Gunners boss started the 21 year old against Liverpool in the FA Cup at the weekend for the very first time and the young Frenchman put in a good performance mixing it physically with Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger.
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Sanogo started the Munich game very well as his shot early only was denied by a superb save from Manuel Neuer. But it was a big ask for the former Auxerre man to lead the Gunners line for 90 minutes on his own and his night wasn’t made any easier when Wojciech Szczesny was sent off in the 39th minute.
He coped well on his Champions League debut as he linked play effectively and made his presence felt while also helping his side defensively, when their backs were against the wall. Giroud will likely return to the first team quickly, but this experience might only accelerate Sanogo’s development into being a viable back-up.
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