By Rob Kelly
Arsène Wenger admits Abou Diaby’s latest injury is “a blow” - but says it also represents an opportunity for another player to stake their claim.
The France midfielder sustained a thigh strain in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea and is expected to be ruled out for three weeks.
Wenger is disappointed to lose the midfielder, but believes he has the necessary cover in his squad.
"It is as an opportunity for somebody else to stand up and play, but it is a blow,” he said. "Not only because we lost a good player but because he has qualities that the other players haven't got.
"We have better balance size-wise and [in terms of] strength [when he is in the team] because he has power.
"We also have Ramsey, Coquelin, Chamberlain, Wilshere, it depends on if you want to be more offensive. We have plenty of players who are in between higher up and lower down in midfield.
"Arteta can play higher and deeper as well. So we can put a deeper midfielder in like Coquelin and then Arteta can move forward.”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