Arsene Wenger issued a touching tribute to Abou Diaby following his former midfielder’s retirement from football.
Earlier this week, Diaby announced that he has decided to hang up his boots after years of being plagued by injury.
The Frenchman could only tally 124 appearances in 11 years at Arsenal, before leaving for Marseille in 2017 – he managed just five league matches in two seasons for the Ligue 1 outfit.
Diaby will go down as one of the biggest ‘what if’s’ in football. The former France international was touted as ‘the new Patrick Vieira’ before it all started to go so wrong after suffering a broken ankle at Sunderland in 2006.
Wenger, who brought his countryman to Arsenal, told French radio: “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.
“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.”
A post on world champions France’s Twitter account, featuring a video of his goal against Finland, read: “We wish the first goalscorer of the (Didier) Deschamps era a lot of happiness and success in the new life that awaits him.”
Thoughts, Gooners? Let us know in the comments…