You may remember the name, but do you remember the player. In the six years he has been at the club he has made over 100 appearances for the club, but as well all know his career has been blighted with injuries.
When Arsenal signed Diaby comparisons with Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira were made mainly due to their tall, lanky stature, but Diaby was much more an attacking midfielder player than the defensive player Vieira was. But like Vieira, Diaby marauds down the middle into the box and has a shot on him. Diaby signed for Arsenal in 2006 for around £2.5 million as a promising young player who had attended the Clairefontaine academy and came through the ranks at PSG and Auxerre.
In his first season Diaby made 16 appearances for Arsenal putting in some strong performances and scored his first goal for Arsenal against Aston Villa, but his season was cut short when he suffered a serious ankle injury that ruled him out for nine months. A few years after the injury Diaby admitted that things could have been a lot worse for him – “The doctor told me that I might not come back, but I was always thinking that I would come back.” Diaby made his return from injury in a Carling Cup game against Liverpool the following season, but over the next few years he would have small injuries but nothing serious to keep him out for long. He started to really show Arsenal fans what he had to offer with some great games, showcasing his dribbling ability. The sight of him gliding past players with or without the ball is a sight that Arsenal fans will be hopefully looking forward to this season.
So with a string of impressive games under his belt the start of the 2010/11 season was one that Diaby was looking to cement his position in Arsenal’s midfield but first an ankle injury and then a calf injury. In September he aggravated his ankle and then in December he suffered a calf strain. Last year Diaby had surgery on his troubled ankle and was expected to be back in September 2011, but that just didn’t happen.
Last season was Diaby’s worst, only managing 5 appearances all season. He missed the beginning of the season with injury and only made two substitute appearances when coming back from injury before he was out again. Diaby had spent time in Qatar and Miami for rehabilitation and fitness and it wasn’t until March that Diaby made yet another return. But in the game against Liverpool he only lasted just 28 minutes and was out for a further two months. Coming back from that he made two appearances before a calf injury put an end to his season completely.
With all the injury problems he has had it is great for Arsenal, the Arsenal fans and Diaby himself that he has got through Arsenal’s Asia tour with no complications. Hopefully he can stay injury free throughout the rest of pre-season and will be available for Arsenal all season. It may sound cliched but if he can stay injury free it will be like Arsenal have signed a new player. Arsenal fans can’t expect to see Diaby pulling off a string of polished performances straight away, look how Rosicky took most of the season to get back into the form he had before his injury. It will be a big ask for Diaby to go the season injury free as he is own prone to knocks, pulls and bruises as he has injured his
- Back (1)
- Groin (1)
- Thigh (2)
- Calves (6)
- Right ankle (3)
- foot (1)
With a list like that, the coming season is going to be one the fans will watch with hands over their eyes. If Wenger dares play him against Sunderland, Stoke or likewise clubs.
If you haven’t seen any of the Asia tour then here are a few videos of Diaby in action as well as a Video to recap you all of the midfielders ability.