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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 29, 2008

Diaby happy to stay at Arsenal

Abou Diaby maintains he has no intentions of following close friend Lassana Diarra out of Arsenal.

French midfielder Diarra left Emirates Stadium earlier this month to join Portsmouth after becoming frustrated at a perceived lack of first-team opportunities with the Gunners, despite only joining them from Chelsea in August.

Like his compatriot, 21-year-old Diaby has been on the fringes of the Arsenal side this season, but has still chalked up 20 appearances - including 14 starts - and scored three goals.

Diaby, who could be set for another run-out in tonight's Barclays Premier League clash with Newcastle at Emirates Stadium, can understand the frustrations involved in trying to break into the team on a regular basis - but has no intentions of leaving the club he joined from Auxerre two years ago.

'I am very happy here. I think it is going well for me,' insisted Diaby, who suffered an horrific ankle injury in May 2006 which sidelined him for nine months.

'I have a plan to improve my quality and I am working hard to take my game to the next level.'

Diaby said in the London Evening Standard: 'I was expecting to play more, but I am not worried.

'I think I will play more at this stage of the season. I am trying and working every day to play. I have spoken to the boss about it and he has given me his confidence.'

Despite his own commitment to the Gunners cause, Diaby can understand why Diarra felt the need to further his career elsewhere.

'I knew what he was thinking. We are always together. He is like a brother for me,' said Diaby. 'I was very disappointed, but it is his choice.

'He left Chelsea because it was not good for him there and he was not really playing. He came here and was not playing a lot either. After that he needed to make the choice and he did it. It is best for him.'

Diaby has often found himself utilised on the left of midfield by manager Arsene Wenger, which is something of an unorthodox position for the powerfully-built 6ft 2in Frenchman.

He said: 'I would like to play in central midfield, but I am happy to play left midfield.

'I can improve a lot of things - my left foot and my pace.'

Diaby added: 'When I will play at central midfield it will be very good for me. For me, it is my best position.'