The 28 year old made just one appearance for Arsenal last season, after rupturing the cruciate ligaments in his left knee during a training session in March 2013. The Frenchman played 45 minutes as the Gunners began their pre-season preparations with a 2-0 victory at Boreham Wood on the weekend.
The Gunners are thought to be in the market for German World Cup-winning midfielder Sami Khedira, but Wenger has hinted that Diaby could be the ideal reinforcement if he can reproduce his best form.
According to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
You wish that he just gets through the game, which happened here – I’m very pleased with that.
If you get a fit Diaby back, it will be a major asset for our team. At the moment we go step-by-step and he came through this game so that’s very good news for us.
The French midfielder revealed few months back that he even thought about ending his career during the 14-month rehabilitation period, but having started the pre-season with the rest of the squad he may be ready to play his part for Arsenal in the coming season.
Diaby has only managed to make more than 30 appearances in a season in two campaigns during his eleven years as a professional footballer. Injuries have crippled the midfielder’s chances of appearing regularly for his team since his early twenties and this significantly worsened last season, with the Frenchman only taking to the pitch for one game as a substitute against Norwich.
When the midfielder is at his best, he is unstoppable. He is one of the best box-to-box midfielders in Europe and manages to pull off satisfyingly physical performances with immense elegance. It is a shame that Arsenal fans haven’t been blessed with more opportunities to watch the lanky play-maker work his magic.
This season will be the Frenchman’s last chance to impress as his contract ends next season. Wenger has shown incredible patience towards him, but the club always comes before individual players needs. The Gunners definitely need another top quality midfielder this summer, however there is every chance that world-class addition might come from inside the club.
Can Diaby prove his worth this season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.