The 28-year-old managed just 16 minutes of football last season, featuring in Arsenal’s final Premier League game against Norwich. He missed over a year of football due to a cruel ACL injury, and contemplated calling it quits after yet another frustrating injury-ridden year.
Diaby has now set his sights on rejuvenating his footballing career and remain fit after overcoming a long road to recovery.
Did I consider quitting? Yes, sometimes it crossed my mind but my love of football is so big that I just couldn’t quit.
I am still young and now that I have an opportunity to play again I want to take it.
It’s great to be playing again and it’s a good feeling. I am just happy to be back and playing. Now I just hope I can keep like this and continue playing.
The France international has so far managed to remain fit after easing through two of Arsenal’s pre-season fixtures. He spent the summer rebuilding his fitness to ensure he avoids further setbacks, and feels he has given himself a solid base of fitness to work from.
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It is feeling good, I have been working hard on my fitness and strength.
It’s been hard, I have been doing so much work to make sure I am ready. That has taken up most of my summer but it has been good because now I am in a position where I can play games.
I have done the same kind of rehab as before but this time I have been working to make sure my fitness levels were where they should be for when I come back to play matches at the start of pre-season.
The “like a new signing” saying has come hand in hand with Diaby in recent campaigns. Coming back for the 2012/13 season, he was immense and became an integral cog in the Arsenal midfield.
Since joining in 2006 he has suffered a whopping 39 different injuries stemming from that one horrific ankle break during the early stages of his career in north London.
Diaby still has some years left at the top, and feels he can make an impression this campaign if he remains fit.
Will I be like a new signing? I guess so, but they have said that many times before. Now it’s just important for me to be back and able to play.
I am really confident and optimistic that I will be able to stay injury free. I have worked hard for over a year now.
Unfortunately luck has not been on Diaby’s side for sometime, but Wenger has no pressure to play the midfielder due to the depth in the squad. He played too much football around August/September of 2012, starring for his country too when he should have been managed more carefully.
Certainly it takes games and match practice to get into the groove of things, but Wenger can ease him into proceedings and hopefully we can really see the Diaby we all know and love this season. He’s an excellent player.
I’m not holding my breath though. This is his last chance.