Arsene Wenger ready to offer Abou Diaby a new contract

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Arsene Wenger has hinted that he could offer Abou Diaby a new contract with Arsenal if the player can regain full fitness.

The 28-year-old has spent over 18 months recovering from a serious knee ligament injury and is continuing the rehabilitation despite making his comeback against in the Capital One Cup third round defeat to Southampton in September.

It was the last of many injuries and the second most severe in a blighted career. Diaby's problems can be linked back to a tackle made by Sunderland defender Dan Smith in the closing stages of Arsenal's 3-0 win eight years ago.

unconditional faith

Wenger maintains that Diaby's injury problems are as a result of that "assault", as the Arsenal boss describes it in his latest interview. Nevertheless, those afflictions have limited Diaby to a paltry 22 appearances in four seasons.

“If he comes back, I will keep him. I always believed in him. In football, the most important thing is health.”

With Diaby currently earning £65,000-a-week on his current contract, it was expected–assumed, essentially–that he would not be offered an extension when it expires next summer. Wenger rates Diaby highly, but with spaces in the Arsenal squad at a premium, the Frenchman can't afford passengers.

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New contract

However, Wenger has hinted that he will in fact offer Diaby a new contract if the midfielder can prove his fitness before the end of the season.

Wenger is quoted by the Evening Standard as saying: “Diaby hasn’t a mental problem, but a problem of injury. He is a player for whom I have great respect. Whenever he returns, he is injured and he goes from zero. He was destroyed by a bad tackle.

“The football player needs mobility of his ankle. When your ankle mobility is restricted, you compensate with something else. He suffered from a very bad tackle in Sunderland six or seven years ago. He was the victim of an assassin’s tackle that was never punished. It has restricted the mobility of his ankle.

“If he comes back, I will keep him. I always believed in him. In football, the most important thing is health.”

Premier League
Vassiriki Abou Diaby

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