Injury struggle brings us together - Arsenal star on being a 'big brother' to youngster

Abou Diaby has been discussing his bond with Yaya Sanogo.

Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo bare several similarities. Both considered star prospects from a young age in France, both came through the system at AJ Auxerre, both have a horrid proneness to injury.

Diaby has not been fully fit for a number of seasons now at Arsenal. Broken ankles, knee ligament damage and groin trouble just a few of the serious problems that have continually put Diaby back on his road to recovery at Arsena;.

Sanogo is much the same. He has suffered with injuries whilst being at Arsenal and before he arrived. At one point it looked like his career was over before it had began because of a serious leg break, which kept him in and out of action for almost two years.

Despite these problems Arsene Wenger continues to gamble on the pair. Their natural talent enough for them to earn a future with Arsenal.

But it is no surprise that given the pair's similar paths, that Diaby is in fact acting as a mentor to the young striker - who is yet to score a competitive goal for Arsenal.

It is a role that Diaby, who himself is emerging from yet another injury lay-off step-by-step, is relishing.

He told Arsenal Player earlier today:

“Yaya sees me as an older brother so it is my duty to help him be comfortable in the squad and at the club. It makes things easier for him and I could see that he needed help, so we need to be there to help him succeed at the club.

“We get along well because we both started at Auxerre and we have had similar injuries. When he talks to me I understand what he’s saying because I’ve been through all of it - the struggle that he went through."

He also went on to reveal how it is the same whenever he plays for the under-21s.

Diaby, in his comeback from injury, has played many games for the age group side - and he says he has to be a natural leader when with the youngsters, and how he explains to them what is needed to become a first-team regular:

“It’s the same when I play for the under-21s. We have to show an example on the pitch and off the pitch as well. I tell them, ‘work hard every day, be at your best and always give 100 per cent in what you are doing’. That’s the key to being a first-team player.”

With a player of Diaby's humility and experience at his side, there is no doubt Sanogo will forge himself a career in professional football - whether it be at Arsenal or not.

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