Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger Confirms Midfielder Could Start First Game In 556 Days

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Diaby will feature against Southampton.

Abou Diaby could start his first game for Arsenal in 556 days after manager Arsene Wenger confirms the midfielder will play a part against Southampton in the Capital One Cup.

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The last time the Frenchman started a game for the Gunners was on February 16, when Blackburn Rovers beat them 1-0 in an FA Cup last-16 tie at the Emirates Stadium.

Diaby managed just one appearance in the whole of the 2013/14 season having been sidelined with a anterior cruciate ligament injury, but despite several problems in the past the 28-year-old is ready to return.

“He is a giant, mentally,” Wenger was quoted by BBC Sport.

“To do what he has done, coming back every time from the severe injuries he has had, deserves a lot of respect.

“He played 90 minutes for the under-21s last week and will play against Southampton.”

Wenger is expected to make several changes for the clash with the Saints, with Tomas Rosicky, Joel Campbell and Lukas Podolski all in line for places in the starting XI.

Youngsters Isaac Hayden, Chuba Akpom and Semi Ajayi could also feature as the 64-year-old looks to give the regular first team a rest after beating Aston Villa 3-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

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