Arsenal target Yaya Sanogo has revealed his career was nearly ended by injury before his 19th birthday.
The promising striker, now 20, is expected to sign for the Gunners when he returns from duty with the France Under-20s at the current World Cup in Turkey.
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And Sanogo believes he has been rightly rewarded for strength of mind that saw him return from the broken leg and knee trouble which kept him out of football for the best part of two years.
Sanogo told L'Equipe: "At that time, I was all alone. You say to yourself: But I can't even run. I said to myself it was finished. I had made a lot of sacrifices.
"I started playing football at six, arrived at Auxerre at 13, and overnight, I couldn't run any more. You turn in on yourself, and start to think about doing other jobs.
"One day I said to myself: I'm going to push as hard as I can. If it goes, it goes."
Sanogo appeared 13 times for Auxerre in Ligue 2 last season, scoring 10 goals.