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

"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."

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26 Jul 2012