Andrey Arshavin, Seb Squillaci, Denilson, Vito Mannone have all been shown the door while Johan Djourou has been sent on a season long-loan to Hamburg. Nicklas Bendtner is expected to complete a move to Eintracht Frankfurt while the futures of Andre Santos, Lukasz Fabianski, Park Chu-Young, Gervinho and Abou Diaby remain in doubt, however it is the latter that casts the most curiosity.
Diaby was bought to the club in 2006 for £2 million. The midfielder had been chased by a number of top European clubs including Chelsea and was considered a great signing for the future. The start to his career at the Gunners went well making his debut in the Premier League, League Cup and Champions League before finally opening his account for the club with a striker against Aston Villa.
He was likened to club legend Patrick Vieira and showed signs of the former captains playing style. His strong physical presence allowed him to keep the ball well and his mazy runs were always unexpected yet typical. However, an ankle fracture suffered against Sunderland started Diaby on a downwards spiral.
He missed the Champions League final of 2006 and had to have 3 different surgical operations to fix it, but was still told his career could be over. He did make a comeback and started to become a first team regular. He showed signs of what he could do before a thigh injury ruled him out for the remainder of that season.
Despite little injuries, the 2008/09 and 09/10 seasons were the best for Diaby making a combined 76 appearances but he has failed to match those heights since then. Injuries have gotten the better of him and it is unsure whether he should remain at Arsenal any longer. He last played in January having been out injured during February and it was announced in March that he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament, ruling him out until at least Christmas.
His injuries far outweigh his goals and even appearances in the last few seasons. Arsenal are going through a difficult time and need to be able to rely on all their squad players, they are unable to rely on the injury-stricken Diaby though. Robin Van Persie had shared the treatment table with Diaby a lot and his outstanding final campaign for Arsenal gave new hope and faith to Diaby.
The France international started the season well but another early injury disrupted his season and should end his Arsenal career. He should his talent but only is spurts when Arsenal need a player who can show it all season long. The Gunners had too many players just picking up wages last season and they needs change. Despite his obvious talent, his injuries will continue to hamper his development and at 27, it’s make or break.
Arsenal’s interest in several midfield options suggest they are already looking for a replacement and when fully fit, Diaby could be loaned out before eventually sold.