Once likened to the legendary midfielder Patrick Viera, Abou Daiby has now joined French outfits Marseille as he looks to get something out of his injury-plagued career. On July 28, it was announced that Diaby would be returning to play with Marseille. Now at age of 29, Diaby will be looking to play the most he can and hope his history of injury is not repeated.
The Frenchmen, noted for his great defensive and attacking qualities as a midfielder, joined Arsenal from Auxerre back in 2006 for a reported 2 million and looked set to emulate countrymen and midfield maestro Patrick Viera. Although a very fine player and his abilities unquestioned, Diaby did not make much of his Premier League stay with the Gunners as he was often injured- so often that even fans were left fuming. In his six years stay at Arsenal, he amassed only 125 appearances for the club netting fourteen goals. A first-name in Auxerre, Diaby failed to gain the confidence of manager Jacques Santini his second season at the club due to repetitive injuries he endured during the 2005–06 season. Diaby struggled to return to form after his horrific injury but was rated highly by Wenger and hence sealed a move to Arsenal. His most effective run in a Arsenal shirt came in the 2009-10 season where he played in 40 matches out of a possible 55.
After the departure of Alex Song to FC Barcelona followed by Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal were left with a big void to fill. Although likes of Wilshere and Rosicky remained, Arsenal were weakened in the spot. However, Diaby stepped up and started the season in place of songs and showcased such display that fans were beginning to see the true ability of the player. However, he was injured again on September and even though he made minor appearances in coming seasons, Diaby was not handed a starting lineup place any more. After 42 injuries during his spell, Arsenal decided not to renew his contract.
Although Wenger did believe in him, Diaby will go down with a sad memory in the Arsenal shirt. For much of his time there, he even refused to take his salary as he was constantly in treatment. His time in England was saddening and he never truly settled there. Not much into Twitter and Instagram, little is known about his personal life. Now that he is set to return back home in France, hope he settles fine.
Fully fit, Diaby is an orthodox box to box player- similar to Yaya Toure and Pogba. Should his new team utilize his full potential, Marseille can look to challenge PSG for the league title in the coming season.