Yaya Sanogo failed his Middlesbrough medical answering the question ‘what happened to Yaya Sanogo’s Middlesbrough move’?

Arsenal's French striker Yaya Sanogo (2L) gestures to Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai (R) after bringing down Dortmund's German midfielder Ilkay Guendogan (L) during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium in north London on November 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL
Arsenal’s French striker Yaya Sanogo (2L) gestures to Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai (R) after bringing down Dortmund’s German midfielder Ilkay Guendogan (L) during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium in north London on November 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL

The former Arsenal striker was said to be very close to a move to Middlesbrough around a month ago and then it all went very quiet.

It turns out the 27-year-old (yes that’s correct) quarantined for two weeks in a hotel at Middlesbrough’s training ground only to fail his medical and see the move collapse, leaving him still a free agent, one of four former Arsenal players with no club this summer.

Yaya Sanogo fails Middlesbrough medical
Yaya Sanogo fails Middlesbrough medical

There is no indication at the time of writing what the problem was but Sanogo has suffered from abductor, back, hamstring, groin, calf and shoulder problems throughout his career, causing him to miss a total of 164 games/790 days, 1,002 days if you include his broken leg.

Yaya Sanogo says that when he signed for Arsenal he knew he would be out for a year, but how could he when he wasn’t even injured when he signed?

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Lukas Podolski (L) of Arsenal celebrates with team mate Yaya Sanogo after scoring during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2014, in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 16: Lukas Podolski (L) of Arsenal celebrates with team mate Yaya Sanogo after scoring during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2014, in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

There are times when you can read something 100 times and not see what was staring you in the face but it was only when I was researching a piece about four former Arsenal player who are now free agents that I realised what Yaya Sanogo had said in his interview with France Football back in November.

“Everything went very quickly, in terms of what happened and my big injury,” Sanogo said. “I had a meeting with the boss (Arsène Wenger), who came to see me after matches against Laval and Tours. And, in what he was saying to me, how he spoke to me, it resonated with me.

I knew that I would be going from Ligue 2 to the Premier League and be out injured for a year. In that sense, things were going fast. You are skipping some steps. But, if you had been in my shoes, would you have decided differently?

“I asked myself a lot of questions. But I said to myself: “Listen, here, the boss has come to see you. He has even called you. You are at Auxerre, in your zone, he wants to see you and he is interested.” I weighed up the pros and cons. But there, I thought: “There, the interest, it is clear.”

This, of course, was not mentioned when he was signed, probably because it isn’t true.

Sanogo signed for Arsenal on 1 July 2013 and was on the bench for their game against Fenerbahce in Champions League qualifying and while he didn’t play any minutes in the away leg, he played 30 minutes in the return fixture at the Emirates on 27 August.

Sanogo was also on the bench for the first Premier League match of the 13/14 season against Aston Villa (yes, that game) and got nine minutes in the second against Fulham on 24 August. It was only after the Spurs game on 13 September, when Sanogo was again on the bench, that he was reported out with the back problem that would eat up the rest of 2013 and keep him out until February 2014.

That still isn’t a year out.

In all, Sanogo played just 519 minutes for Arsenal in his first season, but he was included in the matchday squad 23 times which isn’t really spending a year out.

I had wondered if this was merely a turn of phrase from Sanogo, that he had meant to say something like ‘I didn’t know I’d be out for a year’ but I honestly don’t know what he means.

He wasn’t out for a year after he arrived and it’s hard to see how that might have got confused in his head given how often he was included in the squad.