Abou Diaby’s Arsenal career has come to an end after the club confirmed they have decided not to offer the midfielder a new contract.
The 29 -year-old French international signed for the Gunners from Auxerre in January 2006 and went on to make 180 first team appearances.
As has been well documented Diaby has endured a series of long-term injuries since having his leg broken by Sunderland’s Dan Smith five months after signing for the club. In the last four years he’s managed just 22 appearances for Arsenal.
There were some memorable highlights along the way; his goal against Derby County (replayed before every home game on the jumbotron), a headed winner at home against Liverpool in 2010, his performance at Anfield in 2012 when he went ‘full Vieira’ and kicking John Terry’s head off in Cardiff. He also seems like a genuinely nice guy who has garnered the respect of the entire Arsenal hierarchy during his tenure at the club.
Arsene Wenger had mulled over the possibility of a new deal for his compatriot earlier in the season, but the playmaker never regained a level of fitness to put him in contention of first team football.
While the player’s lack of fitness became something of a running joke, it’s fair to say most Arsenal fans will be united in the hope that his body can cope with the rigours of first team football elsewhere. It really would be tragic if his departure marks the end of a career that promised much, but has thus far not had the chance to kick on.
Arsenal have also confirmed that four Academy youngsters, Jack Jebb, Austin Lipman, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill and Josh Vickers, will leave the club.
Arseblog News wishes all of the departing players the best of luck for the future.