Abou Diaby’s time at Arsenal has been synonymous with injury since he joined the club in January, 2006. A situation that stem from the tackle of Sunderland’s Dan Smith that damage his ankle in May, 2006 just five months into his stay in England after he was signed from Auxerre in France. He has made 169 leagues, Champions League and FA Cup appearances for Arsenal with 127 starts. His best season in terms of appearances for Arsenal was the 2009/2010 season where he had 29 league appearances with 26 starts, 10 appearances in Europe with 9 starts. He had over 40 appearances that season, his highest to date, last season; he only clocked up just one appearance in the last match against Norwich and the season before, just 11 league appearances.
With his record of injuries, and the mental scar that would have brought to him, he did not come as a surprise when he told the Dailymail that, he considered retirement because of his last injury set back. Previously his injuries were muscular and ankle problems, until he had knee ligament damage in March, 2013 that kept him out for over a year.
“Sometimes it [retiring] crossed my mind — but my love of football is so big that I just couldn’t quit.
It does not come as a surprise that retirement crossed his mind, going by what he has endured since he joined Arsenal. He continues
“I am still young, and now that I have an opportunity to play again I want to take it. I try to be positive all the time and that has helped me to come back.
At 28 year of age, he still very young for a footballer, as many have forgotten that he joined the club when he was only 19 in 2006. He can certainly do a Robin Van Persie by staying fit through out a season which is a big ask though.
“It’s great to be playing again — I am just happy to be back. Now I just hope I can keep like this and continue playing.
Going by Mikel Arteta’s comment about what he does in training when asked to that effect during the kit launch earlier in the month, he shows he still has a pivotal role to play for Arsenal.
“My knee is feeling good, and I have been working hard on my fitness and strength.
“I have been doing so much work to make sure I am ready. That has taken up most of my summer — but it has been good, because now I am in a position where I can play games.”
With this season, being the last year of his contract, it would be interesting to see what approach the club decides to take in respect of that should be stays fit this season. And knowing how the dynamics works, he could go the entire season without an injury, and for the sake of how Arsenal has stood by him, he deserves a change of luck.