Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is convinced Abou Diaby can become one of the top midfielders in the Barclays Premier League.
Captain Cesc Fabregas is likely to miss tonight’s trip to bottom club Portsmouth with a hamstring problem which could sideline him for a couple of weeks.
Diaby has performed well alongside the Spaniard and netted his sixth goal of the season to wrap up a 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday, clearly enjoying his role in the Gunners’ new 4-3-3 formation.
Wenger feels the 23-year-old has grown in stature.
“Since the beginning of the season I have always played him when I have the opportunity,” the Arsenal manager said.
“He looks to grow with his touch and now he is dominating the fight.
“What is very interesting in this formation is that, in Fabregas and Diaby, you have not one but two players who are good runners, can come out from deep and score goals.”
Arsenal will be out to avoid suffering the same fate as Liverpool, who were beaten 2-0 on their trip to the south coast just before Christmas.