Abou Diaby Set to be Released by Arsenal?
“Diaby is on the fringe of coming back into full training but he is not there yet. He has a calf problem. His injuries are never severe but little ‘grade ones’. He is not available yet. If Diaby is fully fit, he will have a new deal at Arsenal” – Arsene Wenger (December 2014)
These comments were made late last year from the boss and till date, there has been no encouraging news on the French midfielder. Since Diaby suffered that horrific ankle fracture in May 2006 following a terrible challenge by Sunderland’s Dan Smith, his career has never been the same.
He missed Arsenal’s Champions League final against Barcelona as well as the 2006 European Under-21 Championships with France U-21s. Diaby went through a series of surgeries to fix up the ankle and he was sidelined for a lengthy period. After recuperating and rehabilitating from that career-threatening injury, Diaby notched up a handful of appearances in 2007 before suffering another injury in the tail end of the year with Mathieu Flamini while representing France.
A year after that, Diaby suffered a thigh injury despite scoring in Arsenal’s ill-fated Champions League quarterfinal exit in the hands of Liverpool in March 2008. The injury escalated to a critical level forcing Diaby to miss out on Euro 2008.
Between 2009 and 2012, Diaby suffered a hip injury, calf injury, knee ligament damage, ankle injury, another ankle surgery and a thigh strain. There was even a period in his career when he traveled to the Middle East and the United States in his bid to save his career but Diaby made a comeback against Liverpool in Anfield only to leave the pitch after 26 minutes. Just when we taught that things couldn’t get any worse for Diaby, he has tore his anterior cruciate ligament on his left knee that sidelined him for nine months.
This infographic, via the Daily Mail, shows all the injuries Diaby has suffered since he joined the club,
Since his long-awaited return from his ACL injury, Diaby has continued to suffer constant niggling injuries and he made his comeback on the last Premier League game of the 2013/14 campaign against Norwich. Apparently, that could turn out to be his last Premier League appearance with the club. In 10 seasons with the club, Diaby has notched up 124 league appearances, scoring 14 goals and creating 11 assists. That’s an average of just 12.4 appearances per season, if you do the math.
This season, Diaby’s only appearance came in the Capital One Cup loss to Southampton were he played just over the hour mark. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal is set to release the Frenchman with his deal expiring this summer. In his 10 seasons with the club, Diaby has been out injured for 222 weeks, which is over four years.
I can remember a while ago when Diaby insisted that his career isn’t over:
“People say that I’m fragile and although I understand why, I am not fragile. I’ve had three operations on my ankle, all for different problems but the result of that was that my body is unbalanced, especially in my legs.
I have overused one over the other and to put everything back in place is not easy.
Diaby went on to say that his problem is “bio-mechanical” and blabbed about how good he is physically and mentally. With all the talent available at his disposal, Diaby cannot be banked upon to give his services on the pitch, as he tends to spend an eternity off it. After making one of his trademark returns, Diaby declared that he wants to repay the undying faith Arsene Wenger has shown to him and he intends to live up to his “massive potential” billing. However, it seems as if the club’s patience is wearing thin.
Wenger has fashioned hopes of him playing as a defensive midfielder by Francis Coquelin has come from the wilderness to make that position his. With talk of Morgan Schneiderlein coming in the summer, Diaby’s chances of featuring with the club are slim to none.
I really feel sad for the Frenchman. On his day, he can be a force to be reckoned with but what’s the use of having such an asset when it turns out to be a liability?
Diaby has provided Arsenal fans with a lot of fond memories as well as pretty annoying ones, but it’s fair to say that his countless injuries plaguing his career, his time with the Gunners might be truly over. A lot can happen in three months but we would see how things pan out.
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