Arsenal's Abou Diaby says departed star Robin van Persie has inspired him to get the better of his injury jinx and fulfil his potential.
The Frenchman has been plagued by injuries since breaking his ankle six years ago and admits he previously considered quitting the game.
However, after seeing van Persie, now at Manchester United, come back from numerous fitness problems to establish himself as the Gunners' star man, the 26-year-old has fresh motivation.
Diaby told Sunday Mirror Sport: "Robin helped me last season.
"We used to talk about my situation and what he had been through, and he would give me some advice.
"He would tell me to keep going and make sure I completed my treatment.
"It was helpful because he had the same experience as well.
"He got over his injuries, kept going and at the end he became one of the best players in the world. It shows me what can be done and it gives me inspiration."
Diaby has made a bright start to the season with Arsenal and will hope to continue it against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The midfielder is pleased to be back in action after spending lengthy stints on the sidelines over the last few seasons, having undergone four operations on his right ankle.
He said: "To be honest, four years ago I did think about giving up and that I would never come back.
"It was getting too much. I was not enjoying myself and I could not see the point to continue. I didn't speak to the manager about it, I kept it to myself.
"I was having some bad ideas cross my mind and I had to fight against that. The first question I used to get asked when I saw supporters in the street was 'when will you be back' or 'how is the injury?'
"It's nice people are concerned, but when things were bad I was embarrassed.
"So instead of telling them the truth I'd always just say 'I don't know', even if I knew it would be a long time.
"It is difficult when you hear people call you a 'crock' or 'injury prone', but at the same time I understand, because the fans want their players to be available and they want their team to win."