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Patrick Vieira says ex-Arsenal star who rejected Chelsea had ‘more quality’ than him

Patrick Vieira says ex-Arsenal star who rejected Chelsea had ‘more quality’ than him
Patrick Vieira says ex-Arsenal star who rejected Chelsea had ‘more quality’ than him

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has said that Abou Diaby had the attributes to become a better midfielder than him during his time at the Gunners.

Diaby joined the Gunners from Auxerre for around £2 million in January 2006 after turning down the chance to play under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

The midfielder’s debut season ended on a sour note as he suffered a serious ankle fracture against Sunderland in May. He was sidelined for eight months.

The Frenchman continued to struggle with injuries during his career. He made just two appearances for the club in his final two seasons.

Diaby tried to restart his career with Marseille in the French top flight, but he made just six appearances over two seasons. He announced his retirement at 32.

Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast today, 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 and the injuries he had really stopped his progression, but Diaby was a really good one.”

Diaby had the traits to become an elite midfielder with his strong defensive attributes and playmaking skills. However, his career was blighted by injuries.

Arsenal suffered a similar fate with Jack Wilshere whose career went downhill after a superb start. He had multiple long-term injuries which halted his progress.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com