Stats: What exactly has Abou Diaby contributed in four years?

Could Arsenal star Abou Diaby be the midfield beast the club's fans crave?

By The Numbers: Abou Diaby

Solve the Abou Diaby riddle and there may be quite a player to be unleashed.

Oft derided due to his status as a perpetually injured player, the 28-year-old could - if he stays away from the physio's room once and for all - be the player Gunners fans had been calling for throughout the summer.

Names such as Sami Khedira, William Carvalho or even Luiz Gustavo had all been mooted in the press and in pubs across the Capital as viable options for Arsene Wenger in the transfer market, however, the Arsenal manager's focus appeared to be on attack.

For Alan Smith, Diaby could be the "defensive midfield solution."

He told Sky Sports: "Diaby has had a terrible run of injuries but he is a talented boy and I think Arsenal fans have almost forgotten about and lost patience with him to some extent.

"He is different to the small technical players they’ve got. He’s powerful; he can open those legs and get up and down the pitch. He had a little run of games last season and then he got injured.

"He’s a top player and I think he can move to defensive midfield," asserted Smith. "He hasn’t had that run of games to bed himself into that position but this is maybe why Wenger hasn’t gone for this sort of player.

"That holding player is the kind that fans are crying out for but I don’t think he’d dare to say publically that he was hoping for Diaby to do the job because he’s been let down by injuries so many times."

Considering how little Diaby has featured, it would perhaps be unfair to judge him on total figures when it comes to key statistics for a holding midfielder but, rather, what he did on the field with the few minutes (821 in total over the past four seasons) he was afforded.

Diaby received a touch on the football at a rate of once every 0.98 minutes, he had a passing accuracy of 87% with 33% of his passes in the forward direction. He won a duel every ten minutes, an interception every 31 minutes, a header every 39 minutes and a tackle every 41 minutes.

However, what is most astonishing about Diaby's numbers, is that whilst he was on the pitch, Arsenal rarely conceded. In fact, by the rate detailed in the graphic above, if Diaby played 100 times, Arsenal would concede just 31 times.

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