Abou Diaby: Top three Arsenal moments
Arsenal v Olympique Lyonnais - Emirates Cup

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Abou Diaby ex Arsenal during the match between Arsenal and Olympique Lyonnais at Emirates Stadium on July 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Ah, what could have been. 

When the age-old question of "who's career was ruined by injuries", poor Abou Diaby springs to mind. Signed by Arsenal in 2006 in an attempt to replace Patrick Vieira, injuries meant that Diaby made just 126 appearances across his nine years in Arsenal colours. 

Although injuries ruined the best part of his career, Diaby still provided Arsenal fans with some brilliant moments when he was fit enough to be on the pitch. 

3. Opening his Arsenal account vs Aston Villa

Diaby's Arsenal career got off to a slow start, with injuries and other players' form limiting his first-team appearances.

Due to this, it took him until April 1st in his first season at the club to open his Arsenal account, scoring the final goal in a 5-0 demolition of Aston Villa

Late in the game, with Aston Villa out on their feet, Diaby ran onto a pass from fellow newcomer Emmanuel Adebayor, and from eight yards out, deftly clipped the ball over an onrushing Thomas Sorensen.

It would prove to be Diaby's only goal of the season, but it was certainly one that he will still remember to this day.  

2. Opening the scoring in the Champions League vs Liverpool

In the 2007/2008 season, Arsenal were drawn against Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

After drawing 1-1 at the Emirates, they travelled to Anfield knowing that they had to score to stand any chance of going through. 

And Diaby did just that. Thirteen minutes into the second leg, the Frenchman latched onto an Alexander Hleb flick and fired past Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal, putting Arsenal in charge of the tie. 

It was not to be for Arsenal, who ultimately lost the game 4-2 and the tie 5-3 on aggregate, but the early ecstasy that Diaby sent Arsenal fans into was a feeling that they have experienced too little since.  

1. Bossing the Midfield against Liverpool

The summer ahead of the 2012/13 had been difficult for Arsenal fans. Parting ways with top goalscorer Robin Van Persie, who cited lack of ambition as a reason to leave, Gooners were heartbroken. 

To make matters worse, Van Persie decided to move to one of Arsenal's biggest rivals, Manchester United, a move that means he remains unpopular in the red parts of North London. 

Arsenal tried to fix the gaps that he left, bringing in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud whilst adding creativity in the form of Santi Cazorla.

However, two 0-0 draws against Southampton and Stoke City left fans wondering whether it was going to be a long season, and Liverpool away threatened to be another tough fixture. 

Enter Diaby. Playing alongside now-Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, Diaby was brilliant for the entire game, winning tackles and dribbling with an air of arrogance that only the very top players carry. 

Although he failed to register a goal or an assist the midfielder was everywhere putting out fires and moving Arsenal forward, something recognised when Sky Sports quite rightly awarded him the Man of the Match award.

 

VAVEL Logo