Injury-jinxed Diaby on Arsenal release list

DiabyAbou Diaby’s injury-scarred nine-year stint at Arsenal is due to finish after he was included on a list of players to be released by the club on Wednesday.

Diaby, 29 and capped 16 times by France, had his ankle broken by Sunderland’s Dan Smith shortly after joining Arsenal from Auxerre in January 2006 and has been bedevilled by injury ever since.

The midfielder’s Arsenal tenure has been a succession of lengthy absences followed by aborted comebacks, with a cruciate knee ligament injury restricting him to just two appearances over the past two seasons.

While Diaby’s contract is due to expire on June 30, the Premier League stresses that its list of released players “should not be seen as definitive for players leaving their club”.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has repeatedly expressed his belief in Diaby, in whom he has shown great patience.

“Diaby is a player that I have an enormous amount of respect for,” Wenger said last November.

“Every time he comes back he has to start from zero with another injury. He is not a fragile player. He was the victim of an assassin’s tackle that went unpunished.”

Japan midfielder Ryo Miyaichi, who has had several spells on loan at other clubs since arriving in January 2011, was also named on Arsenal’s release list.

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