Wenger hopes for Diaby contribution

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes Abou Diaby's return from injury will boost the club at a time when they are in dire need of midfielders.

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With the end of the Premier League season coming round the corner, clubs are jostling for final positions, increasing the importance of the three points up for grabs at each game. Unfortunately for Wenger, it is during this crucial period that he has lost two of his midfield players in Mikel Arteta and Theo Walcott.

However, Arsenal were given a lift by the return of Diaby in the recent draw with Chelsea. Despite only playing for 25 minutes, the Gunners manager was impressed with the midfielder's performance. As such, Wenger is hopeful the French player can shoulder some of the workload in the centre of the park.

"I hope Diaby can play a significant role. I am a bit cautious because he just played 25 minutes but in the last three games I hope he can help us, yes." he shared with the club's official website.

The former Monaco manager also hailed Tomas Rosicky who lasted 65 minutes in the game against the Blues, despite being sick.

"In fairness Rosicky was not supposed to play, he woke up sick and we forced him basically to play, and he wanted to play, and he's still lying on the medical bench [20 minutes after the game]. I am very grateful because he was sick and still he played and he gave absolutely everything." Wenger said.

"To miss Arteta and Rosicky at the moment for us is too much on the creative side of our game. Even Arteta is enough [of a loss] for us already."

Defender Thomas Vermaelen agreed with his manager that Diaby's return is timely, though he believes his team-mate has big boots to fill.

"Mikel, as you have seen, has been important for us over the whole season. He is a leader on the pitch and outside the pitch and has a lot of experience. It is a big loss that he is not on the pitch anymore," the Belgian stated.

"It is good for him [Diaby] that he is now back and has put a difficult period behind him. He can be really valuable for us, I think. Mikel is injured now but Abou brings some physical presence in midfield as well. He is a good player for us so I am happy he is back."

Arsenal visit Stoke City in their next Premier League game on Saturday.

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