Arsene Wenger defends Sanogo selection.
Arsene Wenger has likened Yaya Sanogo to Nicolas Anelka and says the young striker is ‘ready’ to play a major part in Arsenal’s run-in.
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Sanogo has started the last two games for the Gunners, with Wenger raising eyebrows by picking the 21-year-old ahead of Olivier Giroud for Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg against Bayern Munich.
Wenger has backed his own selection and compared Sanogo to Anelka, who left Arsenal for Real Madrid in a £20m deal a year after arriving in north London for just £500,000.
“When I started to play Anelka, everybody said: ‘Why are you starting with Anelka, why not buy a striker?'” claims Wenger.
“We won a championship with him. If we feel they are ready, then they play.
“There’s a potential there. Sanogo is world champion of the Under-20s, if he was an English centre-forward and was world champion of the Under-20s, you would not ask me these questions. It’s as simple as that.
“We look at the quality of the performance of the player, not at the number of minutes he’s played.
“If you only looked at that, nobody would ever get a chance. And up front, it’s not the experience that decides.
“I have to make my decisions with my conscience and I base it on who can help us win the next game. He did not look out of place in the two games he played.”