Vieira reveals the forgotten Arsenal man who would have been better than him

    Patrick Vieira believes that Abou Diaby could have surpassed his achievements had he been able to avoid injuries.

    Vieira is regarded as one of Arsenal‘s best-ever players having won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups during his time in north London.


    Abou Diaby could have been better than Patrick Vieira, the Arsenal legend admitted

    Famously, the powerful midfielder was also the captain of the famous Invincibles side who went 49 league games unbeaten during 2003/04 and the first weeks of the following year.

    Such was Vieira’s influence, Arsenal worked tirelessly to try and find a replacement for him, with youngster Diaby almost a like-for-like replica.

    The young French midfielder joined Arsenal in January 2006 at the age of 19 before going on to make 180 appearances for the club.

    A box-to-box midfielder who could run for days, Diaby also possessed great pace and dribbling ability which made him a real offensive threat from midfield.

    However, injury issues stopped him from hitting the highs he could have reached.

    Speaking on the Stick To Football podcast about players who were similar to himself, Vieira said: “I used to like Diaby at Arsenal.

    “I think he was going to be an even better player because he was more complete, more technical.

    “I think he was more offensive, he had more quality in the last 30 yards.

    “The injuries he had really stopped his progression but Diaby was a really good one.”

    Vieira won three Premier League titles at Arsenal


    Vieira won three Premier League titles at ArsenalCredit: Getty
    Diaby could have been a true Arsenal great had he stayed fit


    Diaby could have been a true Arsenal great had he stayed fit

    While Diaby made 180 appearances for persistent injuries hampered his career – including a lengthy ACL problem – and it significantly limited his action from 2010 onwards.

    As a result, Diaby was released from the Gunners in 2015 and joined Marseille, but after making just six appearances in three and a half years, he decided to hang up his boots, saying: “I am bringing an end to my professional career. It is the right time.

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    “For a number of years it has been difficult for me to return, with a lot of physical problems. It is a difficult decision but I have thought a lot about my decision and I am at ease with it.

    “After Marseille, I gave myself a year to come back but it was harder than I thought, and I have decided to stop.”

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