Wenger provides explanation to returning star's absence from the squad

Abou Diaby 2

Arsene Wenger has explained his reasoning to leaving Abou Diaby out of the Arsenal squad for tonight.

Arsene Wenger says that he left Abou Diaby out of the Arsenal team to face Galatasaray because he is not fully fit yet.

The French midfielder is on the verge of making his latest comeback from injury to return to regular first-team action, but Wenger feels that he is still some way off yet. 

"I left Abou Diaby out as well because he’s not completely there yet," Wenger said to the club's official site.

Diaby made his return to the first team when he played against Southampton in the League Cup and he largely impressed during that display. 

Arsenal have been lacking an enforcer in the middle of the pitch and the hope is that Diaby can finally provide that.

To do so, he will have to make sure that he stay fit for a sustained period of time, something he has found difficult for the majority of this career so far. 

It is because of this troublesome injury record that Wenger is being cautious with bringing Diaby back into the first-team.

The French manager would have no doubt liked to have selected his compatriot to play tonight, given Arsenal's problems in the midfield area, but the long-term repercussions of rushing a player so prone to injury back have to be taken into consideration.

Arsenal's match against Galatasaray is an important one given that they lost their first game of the group-stage to Borussia Dortmund.

A loss tonight for the Gunners would put their qualification in jeopardy and the North-London side will need to ensure that the same deficiencies which were highlighted in Germany against Dortmund do not show up this evening if they are to get the three points.

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