Selecting Diaby against Chelsea was a gamble, admits Wenger

The midfielder is set to miss three weeks after pulling a thigh muscle, but the Arsenal manager explained that the imminent returns of other players influenced his decision

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that it was a gamble to select midfielder Abou Diaby for the Gunners' match against Chelsea on Saturday.

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Diaby, who has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons, was withdrawn in the first half of the 2-1 defeat after pulling a thigh muscle.

Wenger explained that he chose to risk fielding the Frenchman because of the multitude of options he hopes to have available for selection in the coming weeks, with Jack Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong both close to making returns from long-term injuries and Francis Coquelin close to overcoming illness.

"Diaby's injury record is not good," Wenger told reporters. "I was concerned about him of course. It was a gamble, but I was calculating as well that Wilshere was coming back, Francis Coquelin is here but was sick and Emmanuel Frimpong is back.

"Tomas Rosicky is coming back so 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.

"He was outstanding in that area against Chelsea. We'll see overall if it was a good or bad decision at the end of the season."