Abou Diaby, the injury plagued midfielder of Arsenal, has just recently returned to full fitness. He played for 66 minutes in the game against Southampton, and considering his long break from the game, turned in a good performance. Arsene Wenger has always has faith in him, and after that game said that Diaby could yet become an Arsenal regular.
And after the trio of injuries suffered in the game against the Spurs, it looks like he may well have to. While Diaby is not yet fit enough to play the full ninety minutes in a game, he will be soon and with Arsenal’s crippling injury problems he is almost certainly going to feature in the team.
Recently speaking to arsenal.com, Diaby revealed that not only is he relishing the opportunity to get back to playing full time; he is also willing and able to fill the defensive midfield slot in the Arsenal team. Arsene Wenger spoke of the 28-year-old having “all the attributes” to transform himself into an effective holding midfielder, and Diaby is prepared to make that change but admits he would first need to adjust his mindset.
[The boss and I] have spoken about it and it could be an option. The boss told me he could see me playing in that position and that he thinks I have the ability to do it.
I’ve never played there before, so it’s something new for me but I think it could be an option for the team and for myself to add something to my game.
I have an attacking mentality so to stay back and create the link between the defence and attack is something new. I would like to get used to it, to learn how to be effective in that role if I play there, and then we will see.
The way I see the game will be different, as will my position. I need to learn how to do that effectively.
First of all, when you play in this position you have to be effective defensively. I would need to track back, break up play and also avoid the opponent from playing through the lines.
For me, those are the first things. At the same time, you are always involved, you take a lot of touches and you need to make sure that you play the right passes to find strikers and midfielders in good positions.
You need to be able to contribute to both sides of the game.
The Frenchman certainly has the physical strength and vision to play as a defensive midfielder, but first we need to be absolutely sure he is fully capable of taking over the role. Even then, I would prefer that Wenger invested in an established defensive player like Sami Khedira, for example.
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