After arriving at Arsenal in January 2006, Abou Diaby spent most of his first year at the Club on the sidelines. Now, with his long-term ankle injury behind him, the Frenchman is becoming an integral part of Arsène Wenger's squad.
Diaby underlined his growing importance with a stunning strike
against Derby at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, his first goal at
Arsenal's new home. It was a major breakthrough for the
midfielder who is confident the bad days are behind him.
"It was a good goal. I think the best I have scored," said Diaby. "But I am always hoping to score more.
"I have tried to come back and be sharp and be strong on the pitch. I am working hard in training and I've been working to be better."
The horrific injury to his ankle that Diaby suffered in May 2006 is still a difficult subject for him to address.
"I had three operations," he reflected. "It was frustrating to be out for eight to nine months. Now I am back and focused on the future.
"The doctor told me that I might not come back, but I was always thinking that I would come back."
Since his return to the side, Diaby has been deployed mostly on the left of midfield. He is happy to play there but admits his preferred role is in the centre.
"I prefer to play centre midfield but it is not a problem if it is for the team," he said. "I am always trying to adapt and play better in that position."
In whichever position he plays, the 21-year-old remains focused on achieving success with Arsenal.Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source