Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal could well offer Abou Diaby a new Emirates Stadium deal despite strong reports that this year would be his last at the club.
As relayed by The Guardian the Frenchman today answered a series of prying questions ahead of Arsenal’s big Premier League fixture with Liverpool this weekend. As well as being fielded queries on a potential move for Raheem Sterling and a supposed interest in Palermo forward Paulo Dybala, Wenger was quizzed as to whether or not Diaby would be getting an extension.
His injury-plagued career has seen him play very little for Arsenal over the past few years, and as a result doubts have emerged as to his importance in the Gunners fold. Just one appearance in the last two seasons has put the spotlight on the French midfielder and with his current deal set to expire in June the clock is rapidly winding down.
And yet Wenger’s most recent statement on the topic would infer that it is possible Diaby might be kept on, even if it is on a pay-as-you-play deal. The 65-year-old made it clear that any contract would only be offered as a result of the player having proved his fitness, but all the same it can be considered a window of opportunity for the 28-year-old.
Talks have happened
“I had a chat with him and told him how I can envisage the future,” Wenger said.
“He has to make a decision. Of course he understands completely that he has to perform and to show that he can be present on a consistent way.
“I will see where we go from there. I wouldn’t like to go into details, we have to meet again to see where we go from what I told him. It has to be linked a little bit with his presence.”
If Diaby can’t prove that he can contribute positively to the squad in the long run then he may be forced to look elsewhere this summer, though it’s unlikely many other top clubs will take a punt on a player who has featured just 22 times in all competitions since the 2011/12 campaign.
Of course he might not be the only midfielder hunting for a new club, with reports having implied that the futures of Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are also uncertain.
It’s been rumoured that Wenger wants to keep Arteta on the books but that the Spaniard is wary over his game-time decreasing in the first-team. Flamini meanwhile may make way for an upgrade to be purchased in the summer transfer window; if that’s the case Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin will surely be the go-to-guy.
All things considered Wenger is going to have to treat the Diaby situation very carefully. His loyalty to the Frenchman has been commendable, and he clearly believes he has the talent to be an important cog in the north London giants’ machine, but at the same time there is a line that has be drawn.
If Diaby can’t play regularly then he might be advised to consider doing what Ledley King did in seeking an early retirement. Clubs at the highest level can’t afford to carry passengers, after all.
Arsenal fans, do you think Wenger would be wise to offer Diaby a new deal this summer? Let us know what you would do in the comments box below.
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