Abou Diaby is a curious footballer, on one hand a magnificently talented footballer, on the other a horrendously injury prone midfielder.
The injuries are far from his fault in fact you can blame former Sunderland defender Dan Smith, for it was his dangerous tackle that shattered Diaby’s ankle in a game back in May 2007.
He now plays for Gateshead and has never really made an impact in football but he will forever know he nearly ended a talented young players career.
He has shown flashes brilliance, most notably at the start of the 12/13 season when he established himself in the Gunners midfield with terrific performances away at Liverpool and Manchester City.
Sadly injury once again prevented him from getting a run of games and he never really got back to fitness before he suffered a serious knee injury in training. An injury from which he is still recovering.
Diaby signed for Arsenal in January 2006 from French Ligue 1 side Auxerre with a big future ahead of him. Having attended the world-renowned Clairefontaine Academy he obviously had a lot of pressure to succeed in the sport.
Once he was at Arsenal comparisons to Patrick Vieira, because of style of play and stature, were all too common to allow a young player to develop. With players like Cesc Fabregas coming through the Arsenal ranks, Diaby couldn’t afford to fall behind and that’s exactly what happened.
The saddest thing about it was that it was no fault of his own. He never truly recovered from his initial injury and this has been so damaging to his career.
It’s a shame for such a talented player to be stopped fulfilling his potential by injuries, without them I am sure he would have been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
Yet just last season prior to his two injury lay-offs, he looked like fulfilling his destiny of becoming a world class midfielder, even scoring winning goals for France in international qualifying.
The question for Arsenal is whether giving it one last shot is a risk worth taking. At this point it could be considered only Diaby has something to lose if they do.
Is Diaby worthy of one last shot? What do you think?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald