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Arsene Wenger ready to offer Abou Diaby new contract

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Arsene Wenger has confirmed his intention to offer Abou Diaby a new deal with Arsenal if the player can regain his fitness before the end of the season.

The injury-prone midfielder has not featured in the Premier League since March 2013 away to Swansea City. Shortly after that 2-0 win for Arsenal he tore a cruciate ligament in his knee, ruling him out for over the whole of the 2013/14 season.

Diaby returned to full training at the start of this season and marked his comeback in the Capital One Cup third round tie against Southampton. Naturally, he struggled to make an impact on the tie and Arsenal ended up losing 2-1.

While his knee has fully recovered from the ligament injury, Diaby has yet to make another appearance for the Gunners due to other problems. With his contract set to expire in the summer, it appeared inevitable that he would leave on a free transfer.

Wenger confirmed that Diaby is currently recovering from a calf strain, but is still willing to offer the 28-year-old a new contract if he can prove his fitness before June.

"If Diaby is fully fit, he will have a new deal at Arsenal."

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New deal, on one condition

"Diaby is on the fringe of coming back into full training but he is not there yet - he has a calf problem," Wenger told reporters. 

"His injuries are never severe but little grade one tears. He is not available yet.

"If Diaby is fully fit, he will have a new deal at Arsenal."

A new Arsenal deal would be a tremendous show of faith from Wenger, who has always believed Diaby has the potential to be a great player. However, the fact that he has played just 22 games for Arsenal since the start of the 2011/12 suggests he will never get over his injury problems and his £65,000-a-week wages would need to be significantly reduced as a result.

"He was destroyed by a bad tackle at Sunderland six or seven years ago which altered his ankle."

Destroyed by an assassin

Wenger recently pointed towards the infamous tackle from Sunderland player Dan Smith in 2006, leading to a severe ankle injury, for Diaby's continued problems with injury.

"He was destroyed by a bad tackle at Sunderland six or seven years ago which altered his ankle."

Wenger said: "He is a player that I have an enormous amount of respect for.

"Everytime he comes back, he has to start from zero with another injury. He was a victim of competition.

"A footballer needs his ankle. He was destroyed by a bad tackle at Sunderland six or seven years ago which altered his ankle."

"He is not a fragile player. He was the victim of an assassin's tackle that went unpunished."

The Arsenal boss told The Mirror in November: 

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Topics:
Vassiriki Abou Diaby
Arsene Wenger
Arsenal
Premier League
Football

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