Football

Abou Diaby must leave Arsenal this summer

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Abou Diaby turned 29 this week.

Yes, the Frenchman is younger than Cristiano Ronaldo. To Arsenal fans of a younger age, he seems to have been injured for the duration of Ronaldo's career too.

Yet, when most players would reach this age and take a look back at their best moments, Diaby can only look forward. It would not be a long look back for him.

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He arrived at Arsenal in 2006 as the heir to Patrick Vieira's throne.

A powerful, box-to-box player with all the fixings. A good range of passing, goals and steel in defence.

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Throne vindicated

With Vieira leaving for Juventus, few predicted the many seasons of mourning at the loss of their beloved captain that followed.

"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"

Nine-years later and Diaby's contract ticks slowly toward expiration without so much as a whimper from the Emirates faithful. Arsene Wenger is still a big fan, but even he seems to have conceded that the player is not worthy of a new contract at the end of the season.

Uncertain future

He told reporters recently: "I had a chat with him and told him how I can envisage the future. 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."

A tragedy

It is a tragedy of a career that he has had. A perception from the footballing world is that Arsenal fans think that he is a waste of space.

Many other players would have retired by this point, but Diaby's perseverance to get fit and play has raised him in their eyes.

Alas, he must go. In the time that he has been an Arsenal player, Wenger has looked for many options to fill the void, and for the first time in a while, there is an abundance of great deep midfielders.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Vassiriki Abou Diaby

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