The last time Abou Diaby played 90 minutes for Arsenal was over 12 months ago, in the 3-1 win over Blackpool. This season injuries have restricted the midfielder to a little under 90 minutes of total playing time, but despite this both Arsene Wenger and Thomas Vermaelen hope the Frenchman can play a part in Arsenal’s final three games.
With a physical game coming up this weekend against Stoke, and with their penchant for chucking it and hoofing it long at every opportunity, Diaby’s height might be important, something Vermaelen is concious of.
“He can be really valuable for us I think”, he said. “Mikel Arteta is injured now but Abou brings some physical presence in midfield as well. He is a good player for us so I am happy he is back.
“It is good for him that he is now back and has put a difficult period behind him.”
While Arsene Wenger, clearly a huge fan of Diaby’s talent, said, “I hope Diaby can play a significant role. I am a bit cautious because he just played 25 minutes but in the last three games I hope he can help us, yes.”
Our midfield options do increase with the return of Yossi Benayoun who was ineligible for the Chelsea game, and Francis Coquelin likely to be available again, but with Wilshere and Arteta out any additional bodies in the mix can only aid the cause.
Especially against the horrendous drooling Orcs of Stoke.