Abou Diaby was released by Arsenal but the midfielder is free to train with the club
Diaby was officially released by Arsenal Football club on Wednesday. But, Wenger is willing to let him use the London Colney training base to build fitness. Some analysts see this as a slight chance for the injury plagued midfielder to again play for Arsenal.
The 29 year old French midfielder is desperate to resurrect his career in some way. It could be in the Premier League or abroad and Wenger wouldn’t mind helping him in all possible ways.
Diaby has played only 16 games for Arsenal over the past four years. The time lost is specifically because of various injuries he suffered over this period of time. The terrible catalogue of injuries for the player set his career so much back that a comeback looks very distant.
Wenger has offered similar chances to many of his past players. Sol Campbell, Thierry Henry and Jens Lehman have been offered usage of the training facilities similarly.
Diaby was earmarked for great heights very early in his career. Likened to a former Arsenal great, Patrick Vieira, his early potential made him a player to watch out.
But, he was nowhere close to realizing his complete potential despite his excellent start. In the midst of numerous comebacks and set-backs, Diaby managed 180 first team appearances for Arsenal in God knows how many years.
Along with Diaby, academy players like Jack Jebb, Austin Lipman, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill and Josh Vickers have all been released by the club. The contracts for all of them have not been renewed.
Diaby is sure to be remembered as an enigma at the Emirates stadium. When he first burst on to the scene, the similarities to Vieira were there for everyone to see. Suddenly there was euphoria among the supporters too!
But, the entire scene was to change for the worse for Diaby. He suffered a broken ankle against Sunderland in 2006. In more ways than one, this was the turning point for Diaby and Arsenal.
The catalogue of injuries that Diaby had to endure was blamed back to the injury in that game. Wenger still believes that Diaby has a lot to offer to the club. This should explain the training opportunity.
Would Diaby have been able to scale greater heights had it not been for the injuries? No one will be able to say with certainty. But, Wenger is hopeful that Diaby resurrects his career. And he wants to do everything that he can.