Why Yaya Sanogo would be a wonderful signing for Middlesbrough
According to Teesside Live, Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has confirmed the club’s interest in signing former Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo, who is currently a free agent following the expiry of his contract with French club Toulouse.
The 27-year-old spent the last three seasons in the French top-flight but is now looking for a new club after Toulouse’s relegation from Ligue 1 at the end of the previous campaign. (h/t Teesside Live)
Yaya Sanogo rose through the youth ranks of Auxerre in France and initially featured for the club’s reserve side in the fourth-tier before making his Ligue 1 debut during the 2009-10 campaign. He shot to prominence after scoring 10 goals in 13 appearances for Auxerre in Ligue 2 during the 2012-13 season before earning a move to Arsenal in the summer of 2013.
However, the 27-year-old struggled to establish himself as a regular starter in North London, spending time on loan at Crystal Palace, Ajax and Charlton Athletic. Sanogo joined Ligue 1 club Toulouse in 2017 following his release from Arsenal and scored 16 goals in 72 appearances across all competitions.
Sanogo could add another dimension to Boro’s attack
Middlesbrough found themselves reeling in and around the relegation zone for large quarters of the previous campaign in the Championship before Neil Warnock emerged as the saviour.
Having taken over the reins following the dismissal of Jonathan Woodgate, the veteran gaffer guided the club to safety with a late flurry of positive results as Boro finished 17th in the standings.
The Teessiders managed only 48 goals in 46 league games last term, which was the worst scoring record in the entire division. That’s despite the likes of Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga sharing 11 goals apiece in the Championship. This means a new striker should be a top priority for Boro before the summer deadline.
Suffice to say, Middlesbrough need more goals to ensure a smoother sail in the Championship next season and possibly launch a bid for the playoffs. Yaya Sanogo might not boast of the most prolific track record as a centre-forward but the former France U-21 international could add another dimension to the club’s attack.
Standing at 6ft 3in, Sanogo presents a more physical presence inside the box as compared to the likes of Assonbalonga and Fletcher. The 27-year-old averaged more aerial duels per game (3.7) last season than both the aforementioned strikers, so it’s clear that he would offer something different to what Boro already have.
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With finances tight in the post-pandemic market, Middlesbrough have relied on loan deals and free transfers to bolster their squad this summer. Grant Hall joined the ranks as a free agent earlier in the window while goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli has been roped in on loan from Fulham.
To that end, the availability of Yaya Sanogo as a free agent presents an excellent market opportunity for Neil Warnock’s side to capitalise and sort out their squad depth issues in front of goal. The ex-Arsenal starlet has considerable experience of playing in England and France, which suggests that he could prove to be a good gamble for Middlesbrough.