Wednesday brought the sad news that Abou Diaby had finally left Arsenal after a nine-year stay in north London.
The Frenchman arrived from Auxerre with so much promise, but consistently failed to prove his fitness, making just 124 appearances for the club.
And the worst of his terrible injury problems have been experienced over the last two seasons. Since the 2013/14 campaign started, Diaby has made just one start in the Premier League, failing to make a single appearance in the current season.
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It was with no surprise then that Arsene Wenger seemingly decided against offering Diaby a new contract. The 29-year-old's name was included alongside the likes of Ryo Miyaichi on Arsenal's release list and few were left surprised.
However, there is hope on the horizon.
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Respected L'Equipe journalist Bruno Constant revealed last night that Diaby has not been released by the club, as such, but his contract had simply expired.
Instead Arsenal are still negotiating a contract with the Frenchman and he is expected to agree a new deal a re-sign for the club in the near future.
We now come to the strange situation where Diaby may well be Arsenal's first signing of the summer and also raises the possibility of the midfielder reaching his testimonial year with the Gunners.
It is certainly not the French midfielder Arsenal were expecting with many hoping a big money deal for Southampton star Morgan Schneiderlin was in the pipeline.
Should Diaby agree a new deal, it will simply be Wenger's loyalty that has kept him at the club. The crocked midfielder will unlikely get a decent offer from another top division club and may well be forced into early retirement.
Wenger's compassion for Diaby has shone through in the past and it seems that, once again, the player he once rated so highly, will be given a chance to prove he can overcome his injury problems.
It is an admirable stance from the Arsenal manager, who sees Diaby as a human rather than a tool to bring about his own success, but, with just 25 spaces available in his Premier League squad, it raises concerns as to whether Diaby is taking up a place in the squad that could otherwise be filled with a useable footballer.
Is Arsene Wenger right to offer Abou Diaby a new contract?
Give us YOUR thoughts in the comment box below!
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