Following the £10m arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea and their reported interest in adding another centre-midfielder to the fold, Arsenal’s sizeable squad is need of a good pruning.
It’s an opinion echoed in The Sun, who believe the Emirates end is nigh for up to six Gunners.
They include David Ospina – the goalkeeper who has ruthlessly been ousted by Cech after performing admirably in the second half of the previous campaign – Mathieu Flamini, Lukas Podolski, Joel Campbell, Carl Jenkinson and Yaya Sanogo.
The former aside, it’s no surprise to read the bulk of the names included in the sextet-for-sale, but the final instalment warrants a raise of the eyebrow.
Signed on a free as an unlikely and incapable ancillary option to Olivier Giroud, Arsenal’s only recognised frontman at the time, from Auxerre ahead of the 2013/14 season, the French forward hasn’t endured the smoothest start to life in English football and it’s odds on at 17/20 that he leaves the club permanently before the close of the current transfer window.
Since arriving in north London, one Champions League goal is all he has managed, a watermark that can’t be too far astray from what was universally anticipated following his relatively modest return in France.
Sanogo had scored ten in 13 appearances for Auxerre in the French second tier the year preceding his move to the Gunners, while he also top scored in the U20 World Cup when representing Les Bleus too.
However, he mustered just one in seven outings in 2011/12 when his former employers plied their trade in Ligue 1.
Injuries, inexperience and acclimatisation issues have hindered his first-team chances at Arsenal, who loaned him out to Crystal Palace for the second half of the previous campaign.
His struggles at Selhurst Park – one FA Cup goal is all he managed – have apparently convinced Arsene Wenger that he isn’t ever going to make the grade at the top end of the Premier League.
But severing ties with the 22-year-old seems a shade uncharacteristic for the typically patient Frenchman.
After all, he gave Nicklas Bendtner eight years (two shy of being entitled to a testimonial!) and three loan spells to realise the potential it was assumed he had, forgiving a multitude of disciplinary infractions along the way.
Statements comparing Sanogo with compatriot Nicolas Anelka add further credit to arguments supporting theories that the youngster would be afforded the same luxuries as the Dane he succeeded.
“When I started Anelka everybody said ‘why do you play Anelka? Why don’t you buy a striker?’ he said. “At some stage when you feel they are ready, they play.”
Parallels of this magnitude indicate that with some more Premier League experience, Sanogo might yet evolve into a reliable source of goals and, after being signed for free, there’s no risk attached to prolonging the experiment.