Arsene Wenger has kept faith in Abou Diaby, despite his recurring injury problems.
Why is he still around?
Think about it like this.
Abou Diaby is your "son", and you are his "father", in this case, Arsene Wenger. So you're essentially the coach and he's your player, the player you've worked the hardest with, and he's running with the ball, his strength and speed beats all of his men, and suddenly he trips and falls, unable to continue.
It's the exact same with Wenger and Diaby.
Diaby is talented, there's no questioning that.
His superb control, supreme touch, amazing vision is boosted by his strength, physicality and eagerness in a tackle.
Since his arrival in 2006, Diaby has suffered 17 injuries, and has only clocked up 178 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions since his arrival at the Emirates.
When Diaby is fit he provides a decent alternative to the regular central midfielders like Jack Wilshere or Mikel Arteta. He's diverse, which means he could fill an attacking midfielder role if absolutely needed.
Wenger remained faithful that perhaps after selling Song to Barcelona, Diaby would remain 100% fit and not succumb to crippling injuries, and in fact for a decent amount of time he was fit and playing games. However, he only made 11 appearances in the 2012/2013 Barclays Premier League season, his career has been further hampered by injury again, and has not featured this season so far.
A talented player hampered by injuries is not what any manager, especially Arsene Wenger needs, or wants.
What could Diaby do to prolong his career at Arsenal, or at any other club?
His international career is pretty much over, despite Didier Deschamps still being keen on calling up the injury prone midfielder for friendlies, which was clearly shown last year when he had tried to call him up to the France squad. It is best to bring the international career to an end, which is hard for all players, however it must be done to save his club career, because if he brings an end to his international career, that's one less area he needs to worry about in picking up injuries.
However it seems very unlikely, as any player is more than keen to play for their country and make it proud. Diaby has clocked up 16 games for France and would be looking to add on to that tally indefinitely.
What could Wenger do?
Once he's fit, keep him fit. Squad rotation would work. Making him a first team player would only make him succumb to more injures and that's not pleasant for the player overall. If he plays games regularly, but also with regular breaks, he could maintain fitness levels when 100% fit and then seek out a full first team role.
But, he's hardly fit, so we'd have to wait to see him play if he's handed a Squad Rotation role.
Arsenal now have enough midfield prowess in an in-form Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and the return of Mathieu Flamini, and the signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, surely Diaby's career at Arsenal could be coming to a close.
It's now the 13/14 season and Abou Diaby is nearly a forgotten prospect of Arsenal, so maybe it's time to signal his end to the time spent at the Emirates Stadium with the insane amount of injuries he's sustained.
Arsenal needed him before, but they don't need him as much now, as signaled with the new midfield signings and the return of Flamini.
Diaby has been a loyal servant to Arsenal, vowing not to quit and recovering from injuries and giving 100% on the field when he's fit, but, I do think there is no more space for him on the team at Arsenal, and he must recover and prove himself to reclaim a first team spot or evidently find a new club.
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