Abou Diaby typifies everything about Arsenal’s ‘could’ve been’ stars, a path that Jack Wilshere too seems to be taking.
Once dubbed the next Patrick Vieira, Diaby failed to make any long-lasting impact at Arsenal due to his torrid time with injuries, including an ACL rupture, ankle surgery as well as multiple calf, muscular and thigh injuries.
The 29-year-old could only make two appearances since March 2013 and was released in 2015 by Arsenal as a result. Since, he has signed with Marseille but is yet to feature for them due to his latest injury layoff, which saw him out of action for 17 months. However, he is set to make a return.
Marseille’s official Twitter account published a video of the Frenchman belting in a curling effort from long range in a training session; a sight Arsenal fans once hoped would be a regular occurrence.
— Olympique de Marseille (@OM_English) February 16, 2016
Speaking to the club’s official website (via ESPN), Marseille manager Míchel said:
“I spoke with him after training, he knows it will be difficult to be able to play a lot of minutes in the next matches but he feels ready and is available.
“To start a match you really need one month of training. But after two weeks of training with the other players, he can be in the squad.
“The morale aspect is also important for the player. It’s also a display of confidence that we’re giving him.
“It’s a thank you too for his work and that of the doctor.”
Arsenal fans have known all too well the potential Diaby has possessed, but his seemingly brittle body has seen him become one of the unluckiest players of his generation.
However, now that he is back, regularly taking part in full training and playing in a league less intense than its English counterpart, one would hope he finally has the chance to show what he can do.