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Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Sunday, 23 August 2009 10:56 UK

Wenger compares Diaby to Vieira

Abou Diaby
Diaby has found the net 12 times in his Arsenal career

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has compared Abou Diaby to former skipper Patrick Vieira after the midfielder scored twice in the 4-1 win over Portsmouth.

"His ability to win the ball back is just like Vieira," said Wenger.

"He is capable of a very quick transitions from defence to attack and has fantastic strength box to box, nobody can go with him.

"Diaby is a bit more offensive than Vieira but when he plays a more defensive role he is very similar."

Vieira left Arsenal for Juventus in a £13.75m move in 2005 before moving to current side Inter Milan a year later and some say he is still missed by the Gunners.

Gael Force Clichy

But Wenger believes that the 23-year-old Diaby, who signed from French side Auxerre in January 2006 but has been restricted to 64 league appearances by a series of injuries, could now be ready to step up to the task.

"He worked very hard in the summer and this could be his season," said Wenger.

"He has prepared very well, looks sharp and strong and has everything for a Premier League midfielder."

Arsenal look likely to miss the leadership of captain Cesc Fabregas in the second leg of their Champions League qualifying tie against Celtic.

The Spaniard limped out at half-time of their win over Pompey with a hamstring problem.

"If it's a little pull he will be out for three weeks, if it's tightness he could make Wednesday. We will see in the next 48 hours," said Wenger.

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see also
Arsenal 4-1 Portsmouth
22 Aug 09 |  Premier League
Diaby signs new Arsenal contract
30 Jan 08 |  Arsenal
Inter complete signing of Vieira
02 Aug 06 |  Europe
Arsenal complete signing of Diaby
13 Jan 06 |  Arsenal
Vieira completes move to Juventus
15 Jul 05 |  Arsenal

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