With Abou Diaby’s time at Arsenal at an end, and the Ligue 1 underway, the injury prone midfielder starts his new adventure with Marseille in an attempt to resurrect his career. Having turned down an approach from West Brom, Diaby has gone home in his own words due to the medical help on offer from the French club. As well as what is undoubtedly an attempt to get back into the French national side, having made 16 appearances for Les Bleus in the past and being a starter throughout their 2010 World cup campaign. Abou will be desperate to get back to his best, but as we all now from the Emirates it’s not so simple. So can he beat his injury problems and be the player we all knew he could have been?
The evidence says otherwise. Vassiriki Abou Diaby has had 42 injuries during his 9 year stint with Arsenal, which is the equivalent of one every 79 days. In fact the Daily Mail calculates that he missed 222 weeks out injured. It’s the sad case of a guy who was courted by the best clubs in the world as a youngster, but after all the investment it turns out that just one horror challenge in 2006 could ruin a whole decade’s opportunity. Aside from the 2009-10 season and a brief couple of stints here and there, Abou’s body never fully allowed him a stint in the side, and the Gunners will never know what could have been.
However there are positives for Marseille and the towering midfielder. If he can indeed find some fitness, he still has time to make quite the career for himself. With deft feet and a physical presence which drew comparisons to Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira, Abou Diaby could still be the heart of a Marseille side trying to get back to where they belong in the Champions League. If he can succeed he even stands a chance of getting back into the national fold, and who knows may even be a dark horse for the Euro 2016 squad! After all few can do this…
If his injuries persist then of course it may be a sad end, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see retirement come calling. However if he gets lucky and leaves his troubles behind him, who knows Arsenal may even regret letting him go.
I think I speak for all fans though when I say Good luck Abou, and thanks for the memories.