Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby is on the verge of a comeback. What does it mean for the club?
Fantastic news for Arsenal fans: Abou Diaby is ready to comeback from his latest injury.
And then it hits... "It's just like having a... (all together now)... new signing."
The second Diaby makes his first team return, expect Arsene Wenger to utter the above line.
You know what the next chapter in the story is - On February 1st when the transfer window is closed, Abou Diaby will pick up another injury and be out for the rest of the season.
Don't get lost in hope or faith or whichever; it's going to happen, it's inevitable.
Diaby coming back is great news for Arsenal, but his timing is way off. First of all a small thigh niggle should never have kept him out for four months, but Gooners will not be surprised at this considering his injury plagued past.
To make his long awaited comeback in the middle of the transfer window - It was reported last week that Diaby resumed full training ahead of the Swansea FA Cup game - simply means one thing:
Arsenal will not be buying a defensive midfielder this January.
If Diaby could be relied on to stay fit, perhaps they wouldn't really need to. But recent history has shown the club can't rely on him to do that. He is such a special player that he is worth persisting with, but the club need another option.
With long-term target Yann M'Vila said to be available for less that half the £20 million Arsenal were once quoted for the Rennes midfielder, Arsenal would be amiss not to make a bid. But we all know Diaby's comeback means they won't.
If Arsenal's board had a mindset of winners, they would buy M'Vila as insurance for the injury-prone midfielder. But they won't and Diaby will end up getting injured again.
If Diaby's timing had been different, he was out until March-April for example, the club would likely look more closely at the transfer market. As it is, his return to full training gives them an excuse not to.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald