Sa-no-goals returns! Former Arsenal flop makes nightmare Huddersfield full debut

Robin Bairner
Sa-no-goals returns! Former Arsenal flop makes nightmare Huddersfield full debut

Yaya Sanogo returned to English football nearly four years after leaving Arsenal and endured a nightmare full debut for Championship side Huddersfield.

Sanogo arrived at Arsenal 2013 full of promise but left four years later regarded as one of the greatest disappointments of Arsene Wenger’s latter years at the club.

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A France Under-21 international, it was hoped he would develop into a prolific striker but instead he became a cult hero christened Yaya Sanogoals due to his persistent mishaps in front of goal.

He finished his Arsenal career having played only 20 first-team games and having scored only a single goal. Meanwhile, loan spells at Crystal Palace and Ajax were almost equally as unimpressively, although he did score three in eight for Charlton in the Championship.

Having left Arsenal, he signed for Ligue 1 side Toulouse, where he netted a commendable 12 in 63 top-flight matches in France, yet he was not retained following their relegation.

A free agent since the summer, his return to competitive football arrived on Monday as he made a six-minute appearance from the bench.

Yaya Sanogo’s first Huddersfield start

Shots / On Target1 / 0
Aerial Duels / Won11 / 4
Duels / Won17 / 7
Pass Completion58%
Source: FootballCritic

His first start, meanwhile, was an inglorious one with Huddersfield in a 0-0 draw with Cardiff. It was a performance encapsulated by a penalty scuffed wide midway through the second half.   

Indeed, he was wretched in nearly every metric.

Over the course of the match, he had only 30 touches. Sanogo completed only 58% of his passes while his sole effort on goal – his penalty – failed to find the target. He made a game-high three fouls, won only four of his 11 aerial duels and a mere seven of the 17 he competed on the ground. He was also responsible for the only offside decision against his team.

Sanogo’s performance, then, was a worrying echo back to his time with Arsenal, and one struggling Huddersfield can scarcely afford given their fragile position just above the Championship relegation zone.