Abou Diaby is one of the Premier League‘s greatest ‘what if’ stories.
The former Arsenal midfielder was a genuine Rolls-Royce player on his day who could more than hold his own among some of the best players the game has ever seen.
The Frenchman played for the Gunners for no less than nine years, but he only managed to clock up 180 appearances after his time at Highbury at the Emirates was absolutely ravaged by debilitating injuries.
In fact, in his final two seasons at the club, Diaby made just two appearances for his beloved Gunners.
The Frenchman suffered a staggering 42 serious injuries during his spell in north London including damage to his ACL ligament, five thigh muscle strains, 11 calf strains; two sprained ankles, three hamstring injuries and a concussion.
It really is one of the saddest stories in the history of the Premier League as, on his day, Diaby was absolutely unplayable.
His performance at Anfield in the 2012/13 season was one of the greatest individual midfield performances we’ve ever seen.
Against a team that included Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, Diaby showed his imperious talent to dominate throughout as Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners on the day.
He was nigh on impossible to shake off the ball and Liverpool simply had no answer to his marauding runs from deep.
It was a bittersweet snippet of brilliance showcasing just what could have been had Diaby managed to stay fit.
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Most Arsenal fans will look back on Diaby’s time at Arsenal dreaming of the heady heights he could’ve reached and it seems that even the man himself knows that something special was stolen from the football world.
Back in 2017, during a television appearance, Diaby was shown a compilation of Arsenal fans singing his praises and speculating on just how good he might’ve been.
In a hear-warming moment, the cameras panned to Diaby, who was seen breaking down in tears as he listened to the words of his former faithful.
Diaby simply couldn’t contain his emotion as he listened in to just how admired he was.
We can only speculate about what he might’ve gone on to achieve with his remarkable potential and a fit pair of legs but on eating is for sure, it would’ve been special.