Will Diaby and Rosicky hinder Arsenal this summer?

Abou Diaby 2

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger heads into the transfer window next month with a £70 million 'kitty' at his disposal.

According to the club's chief executive Ivan Gazidis the Gunners are prepared to spend big this summer to improve on the squad. They have begun the 'cull' of both the senior and reserve squads already, releasing a number of players weighing down their books.

However, the news that perpetually injured Abou Diaby is expected to be 'running' in around a month's time could be enough to prevent Wenger from buying another midfielder - that physical presence the Arsenal fans are hoping for this summer.

The Frenchman has had one of the worst injury records in modern football - since 2006 he has racked up an astonishing 37 injuries - everything from strains to breaks, illnesses and knocks.

The 27-year-old is an exceptionally gifted footballer - there is absolutely no doubt about his quality. The manager has shown unequivocal faith at first in his potential and since in his ability. But after 7 years spent mostly on the sidelines - a few games here, a few there, a knock, a setback, a return and anther setback - could this be the end of the line for Abou Diaby?

The boss is under pressure to spend spend spend but his midfield already has 7 registered senior players and down in the youth ranks the likes of Thomas Eisfeld desperate to break through.

Another signing would mean the likes of Tomas Rosicky might also find himself benched more often than he'd like. The Czech is 32 years of age now and whilst he's stated he's like to stay, he's rarely played a full season for the Gunners due to his injury woes.

Like Diaby, when he plays he's a great asset but the reality may be that both of them take up places that could be occupied by players who can bring more to the squad than just an occasional flash of brilliance before suffering another 'setback'.

What setbacks really mean to players like Diaby and, to a lesser extent, Rosicky is one step forward, two steps back and whole lot of sidestepping along the way.

The problem is of course that these are two quality players but, in the grand scheme of things, they hinder Arsenal more than they help. They take up places in the squad that could be occupied by new signings - real new signings not 'like new signings'.

Diaby has made just 31 first-team appearance for Arsenal in the last three Premier League season – that equates to less than a quarter of the Gunners’ games per season over all competitions. Rosicky returned to make 10 league appearances for Arsenal this term and whilst his previous appearance record is much better, he has yet to play 30 games in any of his seven Premier League campaigns.

If Arsenal fans want Wenger to go out and spend money on the likes of Etienne Capoue or Victor Wanyama or perhaps Clement Grenier or Marouane Fellaini, the reality is they are going to need to do something with Diaby and Rosicky, Emmanuel Frimpong too.

Will the manager really be willing to forsake his former protégés for the sake of his future protégés?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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