The latest news on Abou Diaby and his injury situation is sure to please a lot of Arsenal fans, but the suggestion from Arsene Wenger that the French midfielder could also be set to receive a contract extension to his current deal that runs out at the end of this season will dismay just as many.
You cannot help but feel sorry for the talented player who only managed to play 11 games for the Gunners before the Sunderland defender Dan Smith smashed his ankle apart with the horror tackle that was the start of a never ending list of injury problems that stopped him fulfilling the huge promise he had showed before.
In an ESPN report, the Arsenal boss lays the blame for all the subsequent injuries on that first ankle problem that required numerous surgeries and has never been quite right since. But he also reveals that Diaby is still working hard towards his latest comeback and that has earned Wenger’s respect so much that he is always willing to extend his contract of there is any chance that he will be able to play for us again.
Wenger said, “He’s a player for whom I have a huge amount of respect. Imagine that each time he comes back there’s another injury. You have to start all over again. He works six-to-eight hours every day to get back into shape, and each time he comes back, he gets injured again. He’s a player who was destroyed by competition, by a bad tackle, which has never been highlighted.
“The main problem is that a footballer needs his ankle, and the mobility of his ankle. When the mobility of your ankle is reduced, you compensate for that in all your movements. That’s what has caused Diaby’s misfortune.
“He was tackled at Sunderland, six or seven years ago, a killer tackle from behind that was never punished and which changed the mobility of his ankle. People say he’s a fragile player, he’s not a fragile player.
“He’s a player who was destroyed by a bad challenge, and I hope he’s now going to come back. Of course, if he comes back, I’m going to keep him. I have always extended his contract, because I have always believed in him. I have a lot of respect for the mental strength that he has shown in the last six or seven years. He has gone through some incredible things.”
The boss is clearly being ultra cautious with his fellow Frenchman this season, using him just once so far in the Capital One Cup defeat to Southampton. But it sounds like we could be seeing him in the Arsenal first team again before too long. But is Wenger ignoring the painful truth and dealing with the situation too emotionally rather than seeing the practical side and admitting that Diaby will never be the player we want him to be?