Arsene Wenger is planning to sit down with Abou Diaby next month to discuss the midfielder’s future.
The 28-year-old is out of contract in the summer and as he works hard to return from his latest injury setback, this time a torn hamstring, there are rumours that he could be about to get a new deal.
It’s no secret that Wenger is a massive fan of Diaby and the way the club have stood by the player after he was crippled just a few months after arriving at Arsenal is nothing short of admirable. An injury that was described by doctors at the time as ‘possibly career ending’ Diaby has suffered from secondary problems ever since.
Speaking to the press on Friday ahead of the Premier League game against Everton, the boss said when asked about rumours regarding Diaby’s contract
“The only thing I must say is he progresses well in training, goes step by step, but he has not played yet and is not in a position to play yet.
“I will have to talk to him soon but I plan to do that in March.”
Diaby has played just 66 minutes for the first team this season when he made an appearance in the Capital One Cup against Southampton.
Rumours that he had torn his hamstring and would be sidelined for a number of months were initially denied by Arsenal but, as we now know, they were correct.
Highlighting the impact that Dan Smith has had on the midfielder’s career, Wenger said in October
“You wonder where Abou gets the strength back to come back and work harder and harder and harder. When you come in in the morning he’s already in the gym to prepare.
“He has done extremely well – you cannot fault his attitude at all. You can only admire him for that. He is always in my mind. His first injury at Sunderland in the last minute [of the game in May 2006] – that was a huge blow in his career.”
If ever a player deserved the chance to play at least a couple of seasons without injury, then it must surely be Diaby.
Sadly, though, it appears as if the damage to his ankle was so severe that his body may never recover enough to allow him the career at the top level he was destined for when Arsenal signed him as a 19-year-old.
He met Smith less than four months later.