Wenger Confirms Diaby Starts, Sanchez + Wilshere Will Also Feature

By on September 23, 2014


Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Abou Diaby will make his first start for Arsenal in over 18 months when we take on Southampton at the Emirates in the third round of the Capital One Cup tonight.

Diaby’s career has been beset by injury problems and he’s managed just one substitute appearance since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in training 18 months ago.

He’s suffered a string of set-backs on the road to recovery and the 28-year-old has racked-up an incredible 40 separate injuries during his eight years in North London.

However, he’s been back in full training for some time and has made a few appearances for the Under-21’s this season, and now Arsene has confirmed the Frenchman is ready to step back into the first team set up against the Saints tonight.

The boss told the Mirror.

“Diaby played 90 minutes at Villa Park for the Under-21s last week.

“He was with us at Villa Park again on Saturday and he will play against Southampton.

“He’s a giant mentally. To do what he has done, with the severe injuries he had, he comes back every time, is dedicated and he deserves a lot of respect.”

“I’m a huge believer in his quality and I’m sad as well that he couldn’t show it more. If there is some justice, the future will be much better for him.”

It’s great to see Diaby back and he really does deserve some luck. Hopefully he can get at least 60 minutes under his belt this evening and gradually re-establish himself again. If he can stay fit [it’s a big if, I know], then he could be a useful player to have this season.

The Mirror also claim that Alexis Sanchez will start having been left out against Aston Villa, while Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski should also feature after making late sub appearances at Villa Park.

Calum Chambers is tipped to start at centre-back alongside Isaac Hayden, and David Ospina should make his debut in goal, so it’s going to be a team mixed with youth and experience.