Is Abou Diaby's Arsenal career all-but over?

The French midfielder has suffered another injury blow and faces a challenge to get back into a Gunners’ side full of confidence once fit.

With the promising start to Arsenal’s new season, the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are being heralded by the footballing community.

The north Londoners sit on top of the Premier League table after eight games, with talk of the club ending its eight-year silverware drought this term.

However, one man still on the Emirates Stadium club’s books that has seemingly been forgotten about is Abou Diaby.

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the France international is set to be sidelined until March with cruciate ligament damage, and looking ahead it may well be the end of the line for him in north London.

Diaby has only completed 90 minutes for his club twice since 2011 and as such has been the victim of terrible injury luck, which has blighted his ability.

Diaby’s physical attributes saw him understandably likened to former Gunner Patrick Vieira in his early days in England, and at times when on form he was a driving force for the side. Unfortunately he has been held back by debilitating injuries and as such not ever really lived up to his massive potential.

With Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Ramsey fighting it out for two berths in the Gunners’ central midfield, even if Diaby was fit and playing at his best he would struggle to get a game.

Arsene Wenger’s midfield options are as comprehensive as any manager in the league, and at the moment with the current personnel they are playing as good football as in the recent memory for the club’s fans.

With Alex Song being sold last summer a defensive shield in front of the side’s back four was missing last season, but Wenger decided to persist without the signing of an out-and-out enforcer.

The re-signing of Flamini in the summer seems to have filled that need, but in some games it is likely that the likes of Arteta and Wilshere, who both have deep-lying tendencies, will play in the heart of the side instead of the French defensive midfielder.

Diaby is out of contract in the summer of 2015 and has a long way to go to become a Premier League footballer that can offer something consistently positive. With his deal at the north London club unlikely to be extended due to his injury problems, Diaby has a year to prove himself once he returns from his latest setback.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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