By Rob Kelly in Beijing

Abou Diaby says he is full of confidence ahead of the new season after Arsène Wenger praised his "exceptional" talent.

The 26-year-old midfielder struggled with injuries last term and was restricted to just five first-team appearances for Arsenal during a difficult campaign.

However, he has played a full part in pre-season and Wenger said earlier this week that "he is the first player who would be on the France teamsheet in midfield when fit".

"That makes me feel confident - it is always nice to have the confidence of the manager," Diaby told a webchat with Chinese fans hosted by Arsenal.qq.com.

"I'm fit now, I have been training since the beginning of pre-season and also did a rehabilitation session during my holidays - so now I feel great.

"I know that when I am fit, I can be good on the pitch. My main target this season is to be fit and if I am then everything will be good for me."

Wenger has also spoken about how the Arsenal 2012 Tour, presented by Emirates is "crucial" for Diaby in proving his long-term fitness.

"It is definitely important - I need to be fit in order to complete the whole season," he agreed. "It is so important that I stay fit because last season I was injured many times and couldn't play much, so this year is crucial."

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 26 Jul 2012