Abou Diaby has been at Arsenal for over eight years. Since his transfer from the French Ligue 1 side Auxerre, he has been a faithful servant of Arsenal, racking up a total of 179 appearances. But the midfielder is sadly injury prone, and has spent a lot of time on the sidelines. This is especially true of the past few seasons.
Over the past three seasons, Diaby has made only 16 appearances in the League, and last year he played in only a single game. As such, he is often the target of criticism and jokes from both fans and outsiders alike. But manager Arsene Wenger feels that he is misunderstood.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Wenger said:
He is a giant, mentally, to do what he has done. With the severe injuries he has had, he comes back every time and is dedicated.
I am a huge believer in his quality and I am sad that he couldn’t show it more. If there is some justice, the future will be much better for him.
Diaby is set to return from his most recent injury, an ACL tear, in today’s fixture against Southampton. Wenger has already said he will use quite a few non regulars in the team, and as such it is a perfect opportunity for Diaby to test himself. He has already played a full 90 minute game last week, for the Arsenal Under 21’s, and was an unused substitute against Aston Villa.
The 28 year old has given his best years to Arsenal and has evidently impressed Wenger, who said that he had nothing but respect for the player and the way he kept coming back despite all the injuries. As such, maybe we should hope that today’s game is a good one for the Frenchman.