The former Auxerre striker says a visit from the Gunners boss, where he reassured the 20-year-old about his injury, was decisive in his decision to move to the Emirates
Yaya Sanogo has revealed how the wise words of Arsene Wenger were pivotal in his decision to join Arsenal.
The France Under-21 international is expected to complete a move to the Emirates this summer after rejecting a new deal at Auxerre.
And Sanogo says a meeting with the Gunners boss convinced him that north London is the best place for him to develop as a player, despite having reservations.
“Rudi Garcia [then Lille coach] called me many times and it made me hesitate a lot,” the 20-year-old told France Football.
“He [Gilles Grimandi] had been to see me many times at Auxerre. And then, one day, we met in Paris at a hotel.
“I was very impressed. Monsieur Wenger had come to see me directly in Paris. He told me that I would have my chance and reassured me about my injury.
“He said he had followed me for many seasons. It was this trip that was decisive in my decision. I opted for Arsenal.”
Sanogo, who has spent 18 months on the sidelines, says he was also swayed by the advice of the French contingent at Arsenal.
He continued: “I was told it was a very good club for me [by Diaby, Coquelin and Sagna] . Many of the guys said I was too young. But I left them to speak.
“I am 20, I had not played for a year and a half, I had scored some goals and Arsenal had contacted me. Could I really say no? I don’t believe so. It will be a magnificent adventure.”
Sanogo only has a brief experience of English football on a visit to Wembley as a child, but insists he is ready to take on the physical challenge of the Premier League.
“When I was small, I went to see Chelsea-Manchester [United] in a Community Shield match. But that’s all. I don’t know the city,” he added.
“The defenders are fierce but I’m not going with any apprehension. The more time passes and the less I worry [about my knee]. I am just impatient to start in one of the best leagues in the world.
“It’s a dream for me to realise.”