North London Diaby
Having flogged a midfielder, seen a striker's recovery from injury set back once again, breathed a huge sigh of relief over another injury to an Ivorian centreback away on international duty, and foregone the opportunity to sign an injury-plagued English centre back as cover, Arsene Wenger will be no doubt pleased to hear that Abou Diaby sees his future at Arsenal, and has no plans on leaving the Grove, in the same style as his close friend Lassana Diarra did just recently.
Diaby described himself as 'very happy' at Arsenal, and feels his career at the club is going well. Reviewing how his Arsenal career has developed since he joined, the player, burdened by the expectation on him to be a PV4-alike, said,
I have a plan to improve my quality and I'm working hard to take my game to the next level.
I was expecting to play more, but I'm not worried. I think I will play more at this stage of the season. I'm trying and working every day to play. I've spoken to the boss about it and he has given me his confidence.
Talking of his views on his close friend Diarra, Diaby said,
I knew what he was thinking. We are always together. He is like a brother for me. I was very disappointed but it is his choice. He left Chelsea because it wasn't good for him there and he wasn't really playing. He came here and wasn't playing a lot either. After that he needed to make the choice and he did it. It's best for him.
Yes. I would like to play in central midfield, but I'm happy to play left midfield. I can improve a lot of things - my left foot and my pace. When I will play at central midfield it will be very good for me. For me, it is my best position.
For a lot of Gooners, the jury still seems to be out on the fella - upon signing, he looked mightily impressive, but since returning from the horrific injury inflicted by Dan Smith (then of Sunderland), he's flitted in and out of form, sometimes showing tantalising glimpses of the player he could be, whilst on other occasions looking disinterested and lethargic. We can see there's quite a player waiting to come out - he has great control, a wicked shot, he could boss a midfield on his own, but for some reason, the potential hasn't transferred itself into actual concrete displays of said talents on a regular basis.
Like Theo, he gives cause for concern - will he blossom as we hope? And if his career continues to go along the same line as it currently is, and he fails to develop and kick on, he loses more ground to Flamini (who himself is not definite to stay yet!). This is the ideal time for Abou Diaby to really make a push, as I don't think anyone can really see Gilberto staying beyond this summer, given his displays so far this season, which have not been up to his usual standard (or perhaps the team dynamic has merely changed and his merits do not feature as prominently as they once did). Diaby has the opportunity to create a straightforward fight between himself and Flamini for the battler berth alongside Cesc. I hope he's up to the task to take it...