The next couple of months could be crucial for Abou Diaby whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will remain loyal to the French midfielder who has spent over nine years with the club, with Arsene Wenger having belief in his ability as a footballer.
However, Diaby has endured yet another season ravaged by injuries, with his last appearance for Arsenal coming in last September’s shock Capital One Cup defeat against Southampton when his performance came under scrutiny.
While fans can continue to back Arsenal’s charge towards a top four finish with Coral, Diaby is set for crunch contract talks with Wenger which should decide his future.
The big question that Wenger and the board have to answer is whether they are willing to offer a contract to a player who has not played a single minute for Arsenal in the Premier League this season, or let Diaby leave for pastures new.
It would be difficult for Wenger to release a player that he values for his qualities on the pitch, particularly as Arsenal have lacked a strong defensive presence in front of the back four. It is these qualities that Diaby possesses as a holding midfielder, but it remains to be seen how many years of injury problems have affected his mentality, fitness and physical attributes.
The manner in which Diaby reacts from his latest injury setback may ultimately influence Wenger’s decision, while Arsenal’s medical team may also play a crucial part in whether Diaby stays or leaves.
At the age of 28, Diaby can rightly feel hugely unfortunate to endure the number of injuries that have halted his Arsenal career in its tracks. From a broken ankle and anterior crucial ligament tear in his left knee to a persistent calf strain and hamstring tear, Diaby has been through a lot over the last nine years, but Arsenal do not have another midfielder like him. There is belief that Diaby will return to the game, and has the advantage of having age and ability on his side.
With potential replacement Sami Khedira rumoured to be on the verge of returning to the Bundesliga with Schalke 04, Diaby may be given time to rediscover his form and fitness by a club who have stood by him during his injuries problems.
His power, strength and passing ability are qualities that Wenger’s side have lacked on numerous occasions, with fans hoping that Diaby is given a chance to begin his road to recovery with Arsenal.