The France international has not featured for the north London side since March 2013 due to an ankle ligament injury but was an unused substitute as the Gunners ran out 1-0 victors over West Brom on Sunday.
The 27 year old has revealed that he considered giving up the game as he questioned his ability to return, but now wants to get his career back on track after over a year out of the game.
According to Espn, he said:
You ask yourself whether you’re going to still be a footballer.
You think of giving up everything. I said to myself: ‘I’m sick of this! I’m quitting!’ I spoke about it with my parents, my brothers, my sisters, my friends…Then, I got up one morning: ‘No, out of the question!'”
I had to start from scratch. But given where I’d been, it didn’t really matter. It’s been tough because I’ve had a lot of injuries. I’m religious, and in my belief, despair doesn’t exist. You must never give in. Also, I’m only 27, soon 28. I still have five or six years ahead of me, perhaps more.
If my black season could end with a cup final victory, that would be marvellous. There are two games left, you have to be realistic. But if I could be the 23rd man on the plane for Brazil… I dream of that.
The French midfielder signed from Auxerre in 2004 and has been out for the entire campaign until now after rupturing his cruciate ligament last March.
He has made a total of 180 appearances for Arsenal in his 10 years at the club as he has had a torrid time with injuries while he has yet to take to the field this season. He is undeniably talented and when on the pitch he has always showcased his class as he has shown early last season, in some spellbinding displays with his deft touch, superb control and insightful vision is only complemented by his physicality, his eagerness and strength in the tackle.
His only remaining hope of playing this season will now be in Arsenal’s final game, away at Norwich City and if he can make a successful comeback from injury it would be a major boost for Wenger’s side as he undoubtedly adds power and presence to their midfield. He has one final year left on his contract at the Emirates and a good pre-season will keep him in good state to compete for a first team berth come August.
Can he get back to his best next season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.