Widespread reports indicate that physio’s nightmare Abou Diaby will undergo a medical at West Brom this weekend following his release from Arsenal.
Notorious for his stints in the sick bay and sky-high health insurance, the Baggies’ pursuit of the French international has prompted many to question the motives of the west Midlands club.
But if he can satisfy the men in white coats, Tony Pulis will land an exceptional centre-midfielder.
Here’s why Diaby will prove an excellent signing for West Brom:
Pulis recently revived another stricken midfielder cast off by a big gun.
Manchester United were without Darren Fletcher for the majority of every season following the 2011/12 campaign, when the long-serving Scot first contracted a mystery bowel condition.
He returned to fitness ahead of the previous season, but the debilitating nature of his illness prompted many to doubt whether he could perform with the required intensity for the highest level.
Upon his sale to West Brom, Fletcher was revitalised by Pulis’ motivational mastery and in less than half a season at the Hawthorns he managed more appearances than he did in all bar one of the previous three-and-a-half at Man Utd.
He attempted to overrule uber-cautious medical apprehensions when trying to sign Demba Ba for Stoke.
The Potters 2011 move for the Senegalese sharpshooter fell through courtesy of a pertinent knee problem that, evidently, didn’t exist.
Hesitancy in the Potteries allowed West Ham to sign the striker, but only after Pulis attempted to rekindle the deal.
This is what Ba’s former Hoffenheim boss said of the Welshman’s courting of the Shanghai Shenua sharpshooter AFTER the medical failure:
“The Stoke manager is desperate to land Demba Ba. Stoke are so keen on Demba they have now come up with a proposal to sign him on loan.”
It’s another example of the faith Pulis is willing to place in quality players on the premise that an injury-riddled past doesn’t guarantee similar misfortune in the future.
Diaby is a class act.
Not many players have been on Arsenal’s payroll for nine years or more while Arsene Wenger has manned the fort.
Unlike Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, the 29-year-old is part of this elect group.
Few can claim to be better judges of quality than Wenger and the fact that he afforded Diaby such a long spell on the books despite his fitness issues is testament to what a talent he is.