Martin Keown: Wonderfully talented Abou Diaby's career has been robbed

Legendary Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes it is now or never for perpetually injured Abou Diaby.

Abou Diaby stats from last three seasons

Martin Keown believes a wonderfully talented footballer has failed to reach his true potential at Arsenal as his career has been beset by injury.

Abou Diaby has suffered ten calf muscle strains, a medial cruciate ligament injury, a knee strain and three hamstring problems since transferring to Arsenal eight years ago - and that is in his right leg alone.

The 28-year-old, though, is beginning to be reintegrated into the senior squad as manager Arsene Wenger looks to the Frenchman as a holding midfield solution for a side slipping unnecessary goals due to lightweight options in front of the four man defence.

"What’s happened with Diaby is a great shame because he’s a wonderful talent but his career has almost been robbed by injury," said Keown to talkSPORT recently.

In the HITC:Sport graphic above, that considers data from the previous four seasons including the current campaign, it is clear that, when fit, Diaby has an influence on the field.

This is underlined by the frequency in which he receives a touch on the football, his precision in the pass, the direction of the passes and his prolificacy when it comes to breaking up play.

Astonishingly, when Diaby is on the field, Arsenal appear to concede far less - just once for every three matches.

It is perhaps because of these reasons why Keown believes Diaby is "due one more opportunity."

He concluded: "He really has to grasp it this time because if he doesn’t I’m sure the cheque book will come out."

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