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Didier Deschamps hints he wants Abou Diaby in his World Cup squad

Get fit, end the season strongly, and hey presto - Arsenal's Abou Diaby could still go to Brazil.

Abou Diaby may be a figure of mockery in England due to his wretched injury record, but in France it is very clear he is highly admired. 

Last week it was midfielder Paul Pogba singing his praises, as a player he models his game on, and now French international boss Didier Deschamps has been discussing him.

You may think with a World Cup qualifier on the horizon, discussing a player who is not available and has not been for several months would not be a priority for the manager, but it says everything about how highly he rates the Arsenal man that he is still in his thoughts.

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In fact Deschamps has publicly, and likely privately too, given Diaby the perfect inspiration to return to form and fitness.

He told L'Equipe: "I sent him a message of good cheer, he got it. This is not the first time he suffered a pretty serious injury. Today, he is not active. But I want him to recover more quickly."

Deschamps' end comment about wanting the midfielder to recover from his cruciate knee injury as quickly as possible is not just out of politeness, but selfishness too.

It's a huge boost for Diaby, even though the midfielder has a tough task to break back into Arsenal's first team when he returns to fitness.

You may think that with Paul Pogba and Geoffrey Kondogbia rising from the under-21s into the senior squad, Diaby would be a forgotten man, but clearly not.

France take on Finland tonight in qualifying; the goalscorer when the teams last played in a 1-0 win for Les Bleus? Abou Diaby.

A favourite of the manager, clearly if the Arsenal man can get back fit and playing for his club, it's likely the midfielder will at least be handed a friendly call-up ahead of the World Cup to try to prove himself.

Diaby is presently aiming to return around the New Year. His return may not be viewed as essential at this point for club or country, but neither would deny it would be a welcome bonus.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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