1 October 2014 12:44
Abou Diaby is keen to adapt his game and help solve Arsenal’s defensive midfield problems.
Diaby has been plagued by injuries in recent years, the 28-year-old being restricted to just 16 Premier League appearances since the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
But injuries picked up by Mikel Arteta (calf) and Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) in last weekend’s north London derby draw with Tottenham have stretched Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s options in central midfield.
And, after starting Arsenal’s League Cup defeat to Southampton last week, Diaby feels he could provide Wenger with an option in the middle of the park.
“[The boss and I] have spoken about it and it could be an option,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “The boss told me he could see me playing in that position and that he thinks I have the ability to do it.
“I’ve never played there before, so it’s something new for me but I think it could be an option for the team and for myself to add something to my game.
“I have an attacking mentality so to stay back and create the link between the defence and attack is something new. I would like to get used to it, to learn how to be effective in that role if I play there, and then we will see.
“The way I see the game will be different, as will my position. I need to learn how to do that effectively.
“First of all, when you play in this position you have to be effective defensively. I would need to track back, break up play and also avoid the opponent from playing through the lines.
“For me, those are the first things. At the same time, you are always involved, you take a lot of touches and you need to make sure that you play the right passes to find strikers and midfielders in good positions.
“You need to be able to contribute to both sides of the game.”