by Nia Griffiths

Speaking after Abou Diaby was released from the club, Arsene Wenger has compared him to legend Patrick Vieira, saying he’s the closest we’ve had to the big man since.

It’s clear Wenger is devastated at the fact he’s lost one of the biggest prospects we’ve had at the club. A reckless challenge resulted in a shattered ankle and subsequently a career plagued with countless injuries. The boss is convinced that the midfielder was the most similar player we’ve had to Vieira in recent years.

Abou Diaby
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Speaking to Arsenal Player, Wenger said, “It’s one of the saddest moments for us at Arsenal not to have had the opportunity to get the best out of Abou Diaby because of injury. I’m very sad because this boy is a massive and a huge talent. It’s sad as well because he didn’t deserve what he got. It’s sad as well because he’s a very serious player.

I don’t doubt Wenger for a second when he says losing Diaby is one of his saddest moment. He stood by him for years after his initial injury, trying different methods of rehabilitating and reintroducing him back into the team. Every time, he’d get a couple of games back before picking up another injury. It was frustrating as a fan to watch such a talented player go through so much, so I can only imagine what it was like for Wenger.

He continued, “He was always at home every night, prepared well every day and was not rewarded. I hope he will be rewarded somewhere else in the final years of his career.

“He was the closest to Patrick Vieira we have seen here, with even a good offensive potential. In France, he’s regarded highly because every time he played in the French national team he made a difference.

“It is very sad,” he added.