Legendary former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has paid tribute to Abou Diaby after the Frenchman announced his retirement from playing yesterday.
The ex-Gunners boss was known to rate Diaby highly, having shown plenty of faith in him to keep him in his squad in north London for over nine years despite his numerous injury problems.
Diaby arrived at Arsenal as a highly rated young talent after shining at Auxerre, but never quite got over the injury he suffered towards the end of his first campaign.
Now 32, Diaby has decided to hang up his boots after a brief stint at Marseille, though he’s played just five league games in competitive football since 2014.
He barely featured in his final couple of seasons for Arsenal, so it’s perhaps little surprise he also couldn’t get more playing time at Marseille, leading to his retirement now.
Many Arsenal fans will feel they missed out on a potentially world class performer, with Wenger’s words likely to strike a chord.
‘I am sad that you are finishing your career. It is strange, because last night I was asked about you and this tackle from Sunderland that hurt you so badly and I spoke about your courage and strength that you showed to come back,’ Wenger told French radio, as translated by the Daily Mirror.
‘Unfortunately, you were not maybe able to express all the talent that you have.
‘But I am sure that you will have success in whatever comes next. I hope it for you, thank you and I wish you all the best for the future.’