Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has been revealed as the main reason Yaya Sanogo turned down Lille in order to join Arsenal. [Reuters]

French striker Yaya Sanogo has revealed that if it had not been for the words of Arsene Wenger then he would not have joined Arsenal as his preferred destination was Lille.

The 20 year old is out of contract with Auxerre this summer and has already agreed to join Arsenal who will be hoping that the striker can fulfil his potential in north London and become a major asset for many years to come.

Sanogo scored nine goals in just 13 games for Ligue 2 side Auxerre last season but made the decision not to renew his contract in order to listen to offers from several European clubs.

Wenger had previously make a trip to France with scout Gilles Grimandi where he encouraged the young striker to make the move to Arsenal in order for him to continue learning his trade at the very highest level.

Sanogo eventually agreed to sign as it seems Wenger's influence made the opportunity simply too good to reject.

"A lot of clubs were interested", Sanogo told L'Equipe."On balance, it was between Lille and Arsenal.

"Initially, I wanted to go to Lille, but the approach of Mr Wenger made the difference. Many say my entourage chose for me. This is wrong."

The 6ft 3" and powerfully built striker has recovered well from a leg break in 2010 that threatened to cut his career short. Sanogo was sidelined for more than six months at an integral stage of his career but flourished last season after forcing his way into the first team.

Wenger has previously enjoyed huge success recruiting French players, especially early in his Arsenal career, and he will be hoping that Sanogo will go on to emulate the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Viera and Robert Pires who all excelled at the club.

Sanogo wil officially meet up with the rest of the Arsenal squad at the start of July when his contract with Auxerre expires.