Sanogo and Campbell very much part of my plans, says Arsenal boss
- Credit: PA
Arsene Wenger says he has no intention of letting four-goal Yaya Sanogo leave Arsenal this season – even on a loan deal.
The 21-year-old striker, who struggled with injury during his first year at the club, smashed four goals in the Gunners’ 5-1 rout of Benfica on the first day of the Emirates Cup.
And Wenger made it clear that he sees both Sanogo and fellow youngster Joel Campbell, who was also on target against the Portuguese champions, as integral members of his squad for the coming campaign.
“Sanogo was injured for basically two years before he came to us,” said the Arsenal boss. “If you look at his record before he got injured, it’s quite frightening.
“We worked very hard with him and from January onwards he was slowly getting better. Why he didn’t score, I think it was more a mental block.
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“His third goal [against Benfica] was especially important – it was the goal of a striker of real quality. He’s strong, but he has technical skill as well and we want him to stay here.
“Campbell has done very well – he is good on the ball, creative, a good balance and that’s not easy to find. There’s no reason to let him go and I want to keep him.”
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Sanogo, who joined the Gunners on a free transfer from Auxerre a year ago, squandered a couple of opportunities before he opened the scoring on 26 minutes, tapping in a low cross from Aaron Ramsey.
Campbell – who impressed with his performances for Costa Rica at the World Cup this summer – made it 2-0 four minutes before the break with a well-placed volley from Hector Bellerin’s cross.
Sanogo then netted twice in quick succession just before half-time and added a fourth just a few minutes into the second half, pouncing on the rebound when Ramsey’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Moraes Artur.
Benfica did strike the woodwork twice, but were largely outplayed and their only reward came when Nico Gaitan headed a consolation goal just after the hour.
“I think it’s very difficult to draw any conclusions out of a game like that,” Wenger added. “Benfica might be at a different level of preparation and we are not completely ready.
“But we played the way we want to play football. Our game is based on movement, technical skill and togetherness in the final third and that’s what we did.”
The Arsenal manager also revealed that star signing Alexis Sanchez – who made his debut as a 73 rd-minute replacement for Sanogo – will play in a wider role when the Gunners take on Monaco in the final match of the tournament on Sunday (4.20pm).