Abou Diaby will attempt his latest fitness comeback this season…
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Arsenal have been widely linked with several defensive midfield players this summer, including Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira and Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin.
However, forgotten Frenchman Abou Diaby, 28, who has spent eight-and-a-half years in North London, has shown during his time with the club that he has the ability to be a lung-busting, physical midfielder in the mould of Gunners legend Patrick Vieira.
Unfortunately, due to his incredible bad luck with injuries, Diaby has made just 124 Premier League appearances, playing over 20 games in a season just twice.
The former Auxerre star has been plagued by issues throughout his career – the injury count stands at 39 since he joined Arsenal. That’s almost five injuries per year at the club, which has severely restricted his impact.
Now on the comeback trail again, Diaby admits that he almost retired last year – but is determined to get back in to the Arsenal first team.
“Yeah. Sometimes it crossed my mind, but my love of football is so big that I just couldn’t quit,” said Diaby on the possibility of retiring. “I am still young and now that I have an opportunity to play again I want to take it. I try to be positive all the time and that has helped me to come back.”
“It’s great to be playing again. Now I just hope I can keep like this and continue. My knee is feeling good, I have been working hard on my fitness and strength.”
Every summer, Arsenal fans get told the same thing. “Diaby will be like a new signing”, they say. That is, until his latest injury rules him out, leaving the Gunners short in midfield again. Could this season, finally be the one where that prediction comes to pass.