By Nick Teale
Arsène Wenger has hailed Abou Diaby's form this season and says the French midfielder has become a bigger player for Arsenal.
The 23-year-old scored his sixth goal of the campaign against Aston Villa on Sunday and could play a crucial part in Wednesday's visit to Portsmouth with captain Cesc Fabregas likely to miss the game through injury.
Diaby has also been touted as a player who could potentially take on Alex Song's defensive midfield role when the Cameroon international heads to the Africa Cup of Nations next week.
Speaking ahead of the trip to Fratton Park, Wenger said Diaby has added an extra dimension to his game since the start of the season and praised the impact he and Fabregas can have on matches.
"He has played many games since the beginning of the season," said Wenger. "He looks to grow in stature and now he is dominant in the fight and he scores goals.
"What is very interesting in this shape [4-3-3] is that Diaby and Fabregas can both score goals. We have not one but two players who come out from deep and are good runners as well.
"They can come from deep positions and score goals."