By Joe Brewin

Abou Diaby is relishing the prospect of playing alongside Mikel Arteta next season - and believes Arsenal’s midfield can push on to even greater heights.

Arteta enjoyed an excellent debut season in north London after joining from Everton last summer, while Diaby was sidelined for almost the entire campaign with a string of injuries.

But the duo look set to unite this season and Diaby believes the pair could forge a strong bond in the Gunners’ three-man midfield.

“Mikel is a great player and he showed last season that he is a very important player in our team.” Diaby told Arsenal Player. “I am looking forward to playing next to him.

“I personally prefer to play with three midfielders because I can go forward and I can also defend. I think it is the position that will suit me the best.

“Of course the midfield is different now because we are all different. The most important thing is to bring out singularities into the team to make it better. If we have a mix of all that it can be a very good thing.”

Diaby was restricted to just five substitute appearances in all competitions last season and the midfielder admits his spell on the sidelines took its toll.

“First of all it does affect you physically because you cannot play,” he said. “And I have to say mentally as well because it is hard.

“The only thing we love is to play football and seeing your team-mates play every weekend while you are on the bench is quite hard.”

Watch the full interview with Abou on Arsenal Player now. 

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 2 Aug 2012