Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has moved to compare rookie striker Yaya Sanogo to former Gunners star Nicolas Anelka.

The young French forward was a shock inclusion for both the FA Cup win over Liverpool last weekend and the midweek Champions League loss to Bayern Munich, and looked impressive in both outings.

Prior to those games, Sanogo had just a handful of minutes of Premier League action to his name, leading some to criticise Wenger for gambling on him – despite first choice Olivier Giroud’s troubles.

Anelka was another emerging star that the Arsenal chief took a gamble on in the past, as he granted the now West Brom man his first real taste of high level football.

The 34-year-old went on to play for the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, and Wenger drew similarities between the way his former ace and Sanogo established themselves.

“When I started to play Anelka, everybody said: ‘Why are you starting with Anelka, why not buy a striker?’” Wenger told the Daily Star.

“We won a championship with him. If we feel they are ready, then they play.

“There’s a potential there. Sanogo is world champion of the Under-20s, if he was an English centre-forward and was world champion of the Under-20s, you would not ask me these questions. It’s as simple as that.

“We look at the quality of the performance of the player, not at the number of minutes he’s played”

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