It’s easy to forget, given his woeful affair with injuries, that Abou Diaby is actually a very good player.
His ability on the ball, coupled with his power and drive make him the ideal player to sit beside Jack Wilshere in centre midfield and take up the protective role. That’s the type of player we are calling out for.
After the departure of Patrick Vieira, Abou Diaby was the man who was expected to take over that role and replace him.
He had a promising career laid out before him, but having been blighted with long term injuries throughout his playing days, any chance of making a full recovery and finally taking his place in the team has surely passed.
We are all familiar with Arsène Wenger’s strengths as a manager. His footballing philosophy, including everything from what happens on the pitch to the player’s diets, and his man management.
The term ‘father figure’ has been used by many ex-players because of the belief he places in each and every player at the club.
It is this trait that explains the reason for Abou Diaby still being at the club. Wenger puts endless amounts of faith in both his footballing ability and his ability to return from injury.
The only problem with this is that Diaby will never return from injury and as a result, the team are suffering.
Our flamboyant midfield, packed with skilful, technical players such as Özil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla and Chamberlain, need some protection. They need a player like Vieira who will allow them the freedom to play to their strengths, whilst he looks after the defence, as well as offering something going forward as well.
Flamini does his defensive duties relatively well, but going forward, he offers nothing.
Manchester City unearthed a gem when they signed Yaya Toure from Barcelona. His power in the middle of the park, along with his exceptional eye for a pass and his goal-scoring prowess has made him one of, if not the best in the world.
Arsène seems to be clinging on to the hope that Abou Diaby will come back strong and fulfil his full potential at Arsenal, which ultimately means he hasn’t been in the market for a centre defensive midfielder. At least not fully.
Last year it was reported that we were in the market for Luiz Gustavo, who was available. He ended up signing for Wolfsburg and we missed out.
I for one was disappointed, but the club didn’t seem all that bothered and from the outside, it seemed like a relatively half-hearted attempt.
After the weekends game against Hull, Arsène announced that Diaby is on his way back from injury and he has since made an appearance for the u21’s.
Unfortunately, the clock of inevitability will already be counting down the few short hours until he is back on the injury table.
It is incredibly unfortunate for Diaby, but Arsène needs to free himself from the illusion that Diaby can feature in his plans. He can’t, and we need a talented new replacement.
I suggest Arsène pops over to Germany to have a look at Lars Bender.
Header Photo via Ronnie Macdonald- https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronmacphotos/