Abou Diaby, the long legged midfielder suffered knee ligament damage in March and is expected to return sometime during the Christmas period. 

However, an earlier recovery may dissuade Arsene Wenger from seeking midfield reinforcements.

Last season started promisingly for the Frenchman with a string of good performances including a wonderful performance against Liverpool at Anfield but yet again the player's season was interrupted by more long injuries. 

His performances early on showcased similar skills to Manchester City's Yaya Toure - skill, power and the useful ability to cover a lot ground very quickly make the comparison easy to make.

It's a great shame considering that Diaby always appears to be approaching his best form and is beginning to realise his full potential before being ruled out through another serious injury. During his eight seasons with the Gunners DIaby has only managed to make 123 league appearances. 

During the periods Diaby was missing last season Arsenal chose to use different combinations in the deeper midfield role, with Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta proving the most successful. 

Diaby is working on regaining his fitness at the French National Training Centre in Clairefontaine and will be looking to take things gradually. He said to Arsenal's official website: “I have come off the crutches. Now I have to start walking again.

“I will start running again in a few weeks. I want to take my time to ensure that everything goes smoothly.”

Wenger foolishly sold Alex Song without lining up a replacement with the hope being that Diaby would fill in that gap and with his famously stubborn attitude showing no signs of disappearing Arsenal fans may fear he will put his trust in Diaby again and ignore the need for a defensive minded midfielder.

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