Former Arsenal hit man that was graced to played under the Club legendary coach Arsene Wenger said Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski remain ever best player he faced in his career.
Yaya Sanogo was able to played against a lot of great players with the likes of Neymar, Mbappe and Suarez, but he only single out the Poland striker as the toughest opponent.
“I’ve played against a lot of great players.”
“If I can choose one player, for me it was Robert Lewandowski when I played against Dortmund.
“How he runs, how he protects the ball, at that time I think he was 24 or 25 and he was unbelievable.
“Luis Suarez is a close second. When we played against Liverpool in the FA Cup, they had the attack of Suarez, [Daniel] Sturridge and [Raheem] Sterling. Suarez was a great player.”
Sanogo expressed his gratitude to play under Arsene Wenger after impressing for French side Auxerre.
The opportunity came out of nowhere for the Frenchman and one that he still feels indebted to Wenger for.
“For me, Arsene Wenger is everything,” Sanogo continued.
“He’s the best manager I ever had. When he called me to come to Arsenal, it was like a dream.
“At the time I was at Auxerre and I remember I scored seven goals in two games and he called me after that.
He told me he wanted to meet me in Paris to discuss the project and I immediately said ‘yes I will come.’
“I don’t have enough words to say thank you to Wenger for giving me the opportunity to join Arsenal.”
Sanogo quickly found himself surrounded by an array of world-class talent and despite his tender age and a change of environment,
the striker embraced his new surroundings whilst keeping a watchful eye on the club’s senior stars.
“When I arrived, I learned many things from my teammates.
I was just 19, I was the youngest player in the squad. I watched how they prepared for games, what they did in the gym.
“Santi Cazorla was an unbelievable player. Technically he was fantastic, he could use his right foot, left foot he could score penalties with both feet, corners the same. He never lost the ball.
“I used to watch him and say, how is this possible? He thinks before every player he’s like a computer! He was the best I played with at Arsenal.
“Also, [Mesut] Ozil, He was a talent as was [Alexis] Sanchez. When Sanchez played for us he was on fire.
The start of the 2014/15 season saw Sanogo’s raw talent begin to shine. After helping his side win the FA Cup a few months earlier,
the Frenchman produced an unforgettable performance in a pre-season Emirates Cup clash with Benfica that made fans and teammates sit up and take notice.
A four-goal haul against the Portuguese giants had many believing the club had found the man to lead the line for the next ten years.
“As a striker you want to score one goal but when you score four in front of your fans and play well, the confidence is very high,” he said.
“Everything I did came off for me that game, It was an amazing feeling.”
“It was a friendly but I’ve never forgotten this moment. Almost ten years later, people say to me, ‘Sanogo, I remember when you scored four goals.’
“Wow, that’s impact! Almost ten years later! It makes me proud because it was a great moment and I will never forget it.”
“Last year, I went to the Emirates to watch a game against Crystal Palace and when I came to the stadium for the first time in seven years, the fans were very kind.”
“I didn’t know what welcome to expect after so long away and for the fans to give me that support and love, I was very happy because they didn’t forget me.
“They thanked me for the FA Cup win and said when you came on the pitch you changed the game.
“I was shocked, I didn’t know I made this level of impact but after the final all the big players like Cazorla and Sanchez and Ozil said to me ‘when you came on the pitch you changed the game’.
“It made me happy because I’m from a city called Les Ulis, the same place as Thierry Henry, Anthony Martial, Patrice Evra.
“To come from this city and win the FA Cup with Arsenal was unbelievable.”
Sanogo spent four rather unsuccessful years at Arsenal, which involved four loan spells away from the club.