Vieira was quick to praise Diaby’s potential and even went as far to say that he had all the attributes to become better player than he was himself, but also admits that time is running out for Abou to reach such dizzying heights.
Vieira is quoted as saying by Sky Sport News on Diaby:
I am frustrated and disappointed for Abou Diaby with all the injuries he suffered.
If he could have improved constantly, he would have reached an exceptional level. About his potential, he is better than me, better on a technical level, better dribbler, and better scorer too. In one word, more versatile than I was.
Maybe I was better in terms of physical impact. I suppose it is very difficult for him to have not reached his best. But maybe it is not too late.
In what was meant to be his breakthrough year, the lanky midfielder yet again succumbed to what was thought be a minor hamstring strain, but it has now been weeks since his initial scheduled return.
It is clear to see Diaby is a great quality midfielder, his driving runs and silky skills were a real pleasure to see at the start of the season and were integral to Arsenal’s midfield while Wilshere was on the sidelines.
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His physical presence is also a missed attribute, with all of Arsenal’s starting midfielder relatively small in stature. There is no doubt we could have used his physicality in a few games this season. It is easy to see why Wenger has taken a gamble on him.
But surely this season is the last that Diaby has to prove himself with his proneness to injury showing no signs of alleviating. Why he has been playing for the French national team is beyond me, particularly with Wenger revealing lack of muscle recovery is to blame for his injuries.
Personally, when he returns I would like to see Wenger rotate both Wilshere and Diaby, particularly as both have had long injury lay-offs prior to this season and are both essentially like-for-like players.
What do you guys think? Feel free to leave a comment below or discuss Diaby in the allArsenal.com forums.