The French midfielder has been labelled ‘fragile’ recently after yet another setback on the weekend, however he has stressed the hamstring strain is minor despite lasting only 30 minutes against Liverpool.
Much has been expected from Diaby who has shown glimpses of his potential but has been cursed with injuries since his horrific ankle break all those years ago. Dubbed the ‘New Viera’ when he first arrived the 25 year old has only managed 3 appearances this term, but has stated that he has “never been as motivated” to fulfill his potential.
Diaby told Arsenal’s official website:
A lot of things have been said and written about me and I wanted to tell the truth about my situation.
People say that I’m fragile and although I understand why, I am not fragile.
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I have had three operations on my ankle, all for different problems but the result of that was that my body is unbalanced, especially in my legs. I have overused one over the other and to put everything back in place is not easy.
I get injured, it’s a fact but when people tell you you’re fragile, it hurts. Today my ankle is twice as big because of the surgery. My problem is a biomechanical problem. I need to work daily on how to rebalance my body.
I am not scared for the rest of my career. I still have a big future. Physically, I really feel very good, like a beast. Unfortunately, I had that little problem at Liverpool but it’s nothing serious and I will start running again at the end of the week.
There have been times where I thought about stopping my career. You always ask yourself a lot of questions in those moments. It’s hard mentally and I had to be strong. But quickly, I went back to a very positive attitude. I know I am going to be fine. I am not a cheat. I have always worked very hard to come back.
I have never had any apprehension playing football but I have to say that last season I feared a bit to play. It was so important for me to come back to my best level and to avoid getting injured again that I had this little apprehension.
Many expected Diaby to be forced into early retirement, but he has remained focused and maintained belief that he can return to his best soon.
For me, my injuries are a task sent by God. I need to go through them to achieve the goals and the dreams that I have in my career. It’s my destiny. I am privileged. Some people have worse problems than me so I cannot complain.
I am hungry and strong mentally. All those hard times have strengthened me. I know there is a lot of expectation around me and some pressure but it’s a challenge for me to come back to my best level.
I have never been as motivated as I am now. I want to prove to everybody, and especially to myself, that I can do it. I have faith in what I am doing. I will never give up and I know that I will come out of this tunnel.
It seemed that Diaby’s days at the Emirates was over because of the consistent amount of injurie. He did manage to string a number of matches together in a very successful season for the Frenchman in 09/10 but since has hardly featured. Wenger will certainly want his compatriot to show his true worth and fulfil his potential at the club in the near future as he has been a long time in the making and you can see the difference he can make with the physical presence Diaby adds to the side.
He can be a vital cog in the Arsenal midfield over the coming seasons once becomes fully fit and injury-free as his power going forward and finesse can add some much needed creativity into the heart of Arsenal’s team too. Will be as good as Viera? Probably not, but he will be an asset for the coming years as he will want to repay the faith Wenger has had in him.
What do you think? Is it worth selling the Frenchman before he succumbs to another career threatening injury? Or stick with him and hope he can regain full fitness and stake a real claim in the Arsenal first team?