Crystal Palace have this morning confirmed that Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo will spend the rest of this season on loan at Selhurst Park, tasked with turning his raw potential into consistent performances that can help the Eagles win their fight for survival.
Sanogo finally broke his duck for the Arsenal with a smart finish against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, but his record of one goal in 20 games for the Gunners is hardly likely to strike fear into the heart of Palace's relegation rivals.
The 21-year-old is clearly a player new Palace boss Alan Pardew rates highly though, moving quickly to make Sanogo his first signing since returning to South London in a five-month loan deal.
Pardew has faith Sanogo can make a big impact
Shortly after reaching an agreement with Arsenal the Eagles boss admitted that he's been keeping a close check on Sanogo's progress for some time, hoping his mix of physical presence, pace and power are a perfect match for the Premier League dogfight moving forward.
Pardew told Palace's official website: “He’s a young player with tremendous promise, somebody that I have tracked personally and this club has too so that fitted well.
We have given him an opportunity, he needs to play more games and I think he’s ready for that and he proved that at Arsenal. It’s tough to get in their team but he’s closer to the starting action with us.”
Sanogo follows Podolski out of Arsenal
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has now sanctioned the exit of two forwards in the space of a week, with Sanogo following Podolski in making a move out of the Emirates in search of regular first-team football.
Wenger was offered the the chance to let Sanogo return to France with Ligue 1 giants Bordeaux, but decided that the youngster's development is best served by regular exposure to life in the Premier League.
Sanogo revealed that Wenger persuaded him that Palace was the right move for the remainder of the campaign, giving him the chance to play regularly without leaving London.
The much-maligned youngster said: “When the Arsenal manager spoke with me about Crystal Palace I was very happy because I want to play more games. I think Palace are a good team, I watched the game against Tottenham and it was a great performance from the guys. I hope I can help the club have a successful second half of the season.”
It remains to be seen if Sanogo can cut the mustard in the top flight, but at Palace he'll definitely have far more chance of game time and persuading a long-term admirer in Pardew that he's capable of delivering under pressure, much like Alex Song did for the ex-Newcastle United boss at Charlton a decade ago.
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