By Joe Brewin
Chuks Aneke sees plenty of similarities between himself and Abou Diaby.
The young midfielder has made waves in Neil Banfield’s Reserve team over the last three seasons with a string of eye-catching performances and made his first-team debut against Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup two weeks ago.
And Aneke, a tall and powerful central midfielder, says Diaby is the man he looks up to most in the current squad.
“He is injured at the moment but I love the way he plays,” Aneke told Arsenal.com “He's got lovely feet and is a physical presence like myself so he is somebody to look up to.
“I speak to Abou when I can. Hopefully he is coming back and can do well for the first team again.
“Obviously training with the first team is a good experience every time because they are bit sharper and bit quicker so it feels like you can play a bit faster.
“They are all good players and they make you up your game a little bit more.”
Aneke has joined the ever-growing list of academy graduates to make an appearance for Arsène Wenger’s first team but he does not want it to end after one brief sub appearance.
The likes of Emmanuel Frimpong, Francis Coquelin and Ignasi Miquel have stayed firmly on the radar of the manager and Aneke says they are an inspiration to him.
“Of course, people like Emmanuel and Francis have done really well in the first team since they have been playing,” he said.
“I have been playing and training with them for quite a long time now so it obviously gives you a bit of motivation to think 'they can do it so why can't I?'
“It always helps training and being good mates. You can bring your friendship onto the pitch and you just know where they are on the pitch. Relationships off the field help on it too.”
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