West Bromwich Albion are on the verge of completing a deal that would bring ex-Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby on a free transfer to The Hawthorns. The 29-year-old has not played a single minute of first-team football since a League Cup tie against Southampton in November 2014 and will be a big gamble.
According to reports, Tony Pulis is seemingly confident that the club can ‘rebuild’ the midfielder despite his injury record. The move is now subject to a medical and is expected to be officially announced in the next few days.
The former Auxerre man was once dubbed as the new Patrick Vieira when he joined Arsenal in January 2006 and his performances supported the claim. But four months into his Arsenal career, the midfielder suffered a severe ankle injury after a horrendous tackle from Sunderland defender Dan Smith and after this, the Frenchman’s career took a downward spiral.
The move is being quoted as a big gamble by pundits but if the Baggies can succeed in keeping the Frenchman match-fit, they will have an immensely talented player and a difference maker in crucial matches.
Diaby has shown promise every time he has played in an Arsenal shirt and Wenger was gutted not to agree upon a new contract with the player. Even Patrick Vieira once made a sensational claim about his potential, saying: “If he could have improved constantly, he would have reached an exceptional level. About his potential, he is better than me, better on a technical level, better dribbler, and better scorer too.”