Arsène Wenger wants Abou Diaby to enjoy the career that a player of his calibre deserves.

The 26-year-old has struggled for full fitness ever since he sustained a serious ankle injury at Sunderland in the final game of the 2005/06 season.

Diaby returned to first-team action against Manchester City last week after three months out with a thigh strain, and Wenger hopes he is back for the long term.

“It is a big period for him - he is conscious of that,” the manager said. “He does everything, but you do not want to put any pressure on him. Because he has enough, he puts himself under so much pressure.

“He is a very conscientious guy. You should see how he works, how he is focused every day, because when a guy suffers as much as he did he becomes very professional, very rigorous.

“You have some guys who can drink five beers, come to training, and play and go home and nothing happens to them. And you have other guys who have to look after everything. They become very professional very early in life. And he has always been very conscientious.

Diaby has a very serious life, he doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t go out, and is very conscientious in training. So you always feel sorry for him, so you always touch wood it will go well for him

“Diaby has a very serious life, he doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t go out, and is very conscientious in training. So you always feel sorry for him, so you always touch wood it will go well for him. Honestly, what he has gone through is unbelievable.”

Wenger believes that when he is at his best, Diaby gives the Arsenal midfield a whole new dimension.

“He can defend, he can attack, he is strong in the challenge,” he said. “He can dribble, he can pass players. He is very quick in the transition. He can quickly cross the pitch when you win the ball. And he is good in the air and he is a fighter with great stamina.

“If you love football and you see a player like Abou, you want him to have the career he deserves, especially when he has the attitude that he has. You have to have patience. Because what did he do wrong? Nothing. You have to give him a chance.”

Copyright 2014 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 Rob Kelly 18 Jan 2013