It’s not unusual for an Arsenal fan to forget that Abou Diaby is still on the Gunners squad list. Injuring his ACL this time last year, the France international has still not given up hope of returning this season and making the France World Cup squad for the summer.
The injury plagued midfielder proved last season what he can do with some stellar performances when fit, but unfortunately he’s struggled to do that on a regular basis in red and white with ankle injuries usually the culprit.
We haven’t heard a peep from Diaby for some time, known to maintain a relatively low key lifestyle, the Frenchman gave a rare interview with France Football and revealed he is close to rejoining group training and could play a part in Arsenal’s title run-in.
The Mirror reported him as saying:
I will take stock with Arsenal medical staff early in April, but I hope to resume collective training sessions very soon.
I never had such a long break. I never had a knee injury and it is really weird. You can feel physically there is something different. But I learnt a lot from my injuries. I can keep things in perspective.
I work hard without asking questions. I work hard because I know in the end I will play again.
I am still a high level footballer in my mind, otherwise I would have given up. But I never think to give it up.
After suffering so many injuries over the last few seasons it’s incredible he has maintained the desire to return to the highest level and not retiring. Each setback must be devastating, especially if you imagine the career he would have had if he managed to avoid that fateful ankle break against Sunderland early on in his Arsenal career.
Diaby has managed to collect just 16 caps for France over the seven years since his debut, and despite being sidelined for the entirety of this season the midfielder is determined to give Didier Deschamps’ something to think about ahead of the Brazil World Cup.
I’ve never given up hope of going to the World Cup.
Thinking of that has kept me going. Once I’m back on pitch, everything’s possible.
The Gunners are struggling for numbers in the midfield department at present but should Diaby make a comeback next month he will be competing (hopefully) with Ramsey and Wilshere for the box to box role.
Despite all his injuries he will have a number of years left in the game should he manage to shake off his fitness troubles. His current deal expires this summer but should he prove his worth before the end of this season then he may be worth another deal – albeit a short term one.
I myself have not given up on the lanky Frenchman, he’s brilliant when fit and gives our midfield another dimension. I really hope he can make a full recovery this season and contribute.
What are your thoughts Gooners? Do you think there is still some hope for Diaby or have you given up on him? Share your thoughts below..