Date: 1st October 2012 at 9:41am
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Arsene Wenger has admitted that he took a risk on Abou Diaby’s fitness when he decided not to replace Alex Song, who was sold to Barcelona this summer. Diaby, 26, has suffered a torrid time with injuries since a bad ankle break in 2006, but Wenger had rather hoped that Diaby’s injury woes were behind him so that he could step into the void left by Song.

‘Diaby’s injury record is not good,’ said Wenger after Diaby was replaced early in the first half of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea.

‘I was concerned about him, of course. It was a gamble but I was calculating as well that Jack Wilshere was coming back.

‘Francis Coquelin is here but was sick and Emmanuel Frimpong is back, while Tomas Rosicky is coming back. We have many midfield players. We don’t have many physical players.

‘But Mikel Arteta has shown he can be a great defensive midfield player. We’ll see overall if it was a good or bad decision at the end of the season.’