Sunday 25 September 2016

Diaby on Arsenal release list

Published 10/06/2015 | 15:46

Abou Diaby has struggled with injury during his time at Arsenal
Abou Diaby has struggled with injury during his time at Arsenal

Abou Diaby is set to leave Arsenal after the injury-plagued midfielder was named on the release list by the Barclays Premier League.

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The 29-year-old Frenchman joined the Gunners from Auxerre in January 2006 but saw his progress halted by a horrific broken ankle following a tackle by Sunderland's Dan Smith at the Stadium of Light in May at the end of that first campaign.

Despite making several comeback attempts Diaby continued to be hit by a string of fitness issues, the latest being a cruciate knee injury which sidelined him for 14 months, after which he made only one appearance last season, in the Capital One Cup tie against Southampton on September 23.

While clubs are required to list those players who are set to be out of contract after the submission deadline of late May, the Premier League stress it "should not be seen as definitive for players leaving their club."

Manager Arsene Wenger had long defended Diaby, a player he viewed as a great asset when at his peak.

Speaking in November 2014, he said: "Diaby is a player that I have an enormous amount of respect for. Every time he comes back he has to start from zero with another injury.

"He is not a fragile player. He was the victim of an assassin's tackle that went unpunished."

Wenger later stressed: "If Diaby is fully fit, he will have a new deal at Arsenal."

However, by April, the Gunners boss indicated the situation was perhaps not as straightforward despite Diaby having started to play for the Under-21s to build up match sharpness.

"I had a chat with him and told him how I can envisage the future," Wenger said.

"Of course he understands completely that he has to perform and to show that he can be present on a consistent way. I will see where we go from there."

Japan midfielder Ryo Miyaichi, signed in January 2011 but spent several spells out on loan, is another player noted whose future is set away from the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger indicated there would have to be some movement out of the squad before he looked to strengthen, with the futures of forwards Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell all needing to be resolved one way or another.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech continues to be linked with a summer move from Chelsea, should owner Roman Abramovich sanction the move.

Elsewhere, midfielder Jack Wilshere could face a wait to learn the outcome of his misconduct charge following anti-Tottenham chants during the FA Cup victory parade.

The deadline for a response is 6pm on Monday. It is understood the player and club are not likely to contest the charge. However, w hether or not Wilshere - currently away on international duty with England - requests a personal hearing remains to be seen.

Either way the matter will be dealt with by the FA's independent disciplinary committee, which once it sits will decide whether to impose the expected financial penalty or issue a suspension.

Press Association Sport understands because the incident did not happen on the pitch and therefore does not fall under the usual 'Fast Track' process, while also taking into account being out of regular season, no specific time frame would be in place.

The matter, though, will be resolved ahead of the new domestic campaign, which sees Arsenal take on Premier League champions Chelsea in the FA Community Shield at Wembley on August 2.

Press Association

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