The 26-year-old, Abou Diaby, suffered a horrendous knee injury during training this week that ruled him out for 9 months. Scans confirmed an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee and he is set to undergo an operation in the coming week.
The midfielder has been blighted by major injury problems ever since he arrived at the Emirates Stadium from Auxerre in 2006. Within five months, he suffered an ankle injury which kept him out of action for 8 months.
He suffered a thigh strain in 2008 which forced him out for 6 months. He suffered a lot of niggles, but stayed major injury-free during last season when he could only make just 5 substitute appearances in all competitions.
He started well this season, earning the man of the match award for his performance in Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Anfield in August, and was instrumental in holding the midfield role last occupied by Song. However, he was once again on the treatment table for a thigh strain and returned in January only to succumb to another long-term injury.
With his injury problems well documented, many expected Wenger to cast away the France international and scout for possible replacements in the summer window. However, Wenger has hinted that Diaby remains in his long-term plans, by saying that he wants the midfielder to return swiftly and hopes that he has the necessary mental strength to cope with such an injury.
DailyMail has quoted Wenger who spoke after his team’s 4-1 victory over Reading: “That was the shock of the week for us, because I thought originally it was just a little twist of the knee. When they told me it was a rupture of his cruciate, and when you know what this guys has gone through, how many times he has worked day and night to come back in rehab, it is just demoralising.”
“I hope he will find the resources and the strength to come back, because he was quite down. When you look at the number of problems he had, the surgeries, he is 26 years old and has had four or five big surgeries, that demands a lot of mental strength to come back, and I hope he will not give up and will continue.”
Diaby has played more than 20 league games a season only twice in his eight-year spell with the London outfit, and has scored only 14 goals in 122 league appearances. He averages a paltry 15 league games a season for the London outfit. Such figures are surely not as per Arsenal standards, and would Wenger rather dispose of his midfielder in order to accommodate younger, less injury prone players?