Young players with a nose for putting the ball in the back of the net are hot commodities. Their goal videos fill the Internet as fans watch and think about how these youngsters would fit in at their favorite club.
Yaya Sanogo is one of those young players. If you are not familiar with Auxerre's young goal-scoring phenom, it probably will not be long before you are.
Sanogo is one of France's brightest young talents. His ability on the pitch has gotten some of the biggest clubs in Europe watching with interest.
This interest will result in advances for the striker in this summer's transfer market. With his contract ending in June, Auxerre would be smart to try and extend Sanogo's contract in an effort to get some value out of losing such a talent.
The recently turned 20-year-old is the type of talent that can help get Auxerre back to Ligue 1. Losing him for nothing would be a big blow to a club that has suffered in recent years.
What makes Sanogo so impressive is his scoring record at all levels.
Sanogo broke onto the scene with the French U16 squad. During his time there, he scored 18 times in 18 games.
He fell short of that pace with the U17 national team when he scored nind goals in 16 games.
Despite the impressive record on the youth international stage, Auxerre continued to bring him along slowly. He lost most of the 2010 season after breaking his tibia.
He then missed a great deal of the 2011 season after tearing an abductor muscle. These injuries slowed down the progress of Sanogo, but he finally seems to be back to full fitness.
Sanogo has only appeared in six games this season in Ligue 2, but he has shown his quality. In their last two matches, Sanogo has struck for seven goals. His hat trick against Tours gave Auxerre a much-needed 3-2 victory.
Sanogo combines good height (6'3") with excellent pace, but his technical ability on the ball is what sets him apart.
He is calm and accurate in finishing his chances in front of goal. Whether it is beating a defender with his skill or making his way onto the end of a pass, Sanogo can unlock opposing defenses in a variety of ways. He is solid in the air and has excellent agility for his height.
As Sanogo matures and continues to learn how to make runs, and use his strengths inside a system, he can take himself to that next level. The team who secures his services from Auxerre will be getting themselves a diamond who is ready to shine.
As with many young French strikers of Sanogo's caliber, the Thierry Henry comparisons are inevitable. Sanogo is taller than Henry, but the build, pace and skill set he possesses will see him have to deal with the comparisons.
The usual suspects of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham, among others, will all be linked, but RMCsport.fr is reporting a potential move to Lille this summer. If any club has an advantage, it may be Arsenal, as Arsene Wenger has dealt with Auxerre on many occasions (Sagna, Diaby).
This summer will see where Sanogo will continue to improve his tremendous skills. Whoever lands him will have a player to keep an eye on for the foreseeable future.
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