Song backing Diaby return

Midfielder aiming to be back in about one month

Abou Diaby (L): Could return to the Arsenal line-up for the North London derby

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Alex Song has backed his teammate Abou Diaby to return to the Arsenal squad a stronger player.

The French international midfielder has been a long-term absentee for Arsene Wenger's side after a succession of injuries.

Diaby, 25, has travelled the world, seeking help from a number of rehab centres in order to find a solution to his ankle and hamstring problems.

And if all goes according to plan the former Auxerre star could be back for Arsenal's Premier League clash against North London rivals Tottenham at the end of February.

Song told L'Equipe: "Abou is a hard working player. He always gives his very best to be back.

"When he returned in November and starting jogging again, we could all see how happy he was.

"But it's difficult for him and it's difficult for us too, because we know that with him, we are even stronger."

And Diaby stated himself that he hopes to be back in action in about one month, saying: "Everything is going smoothly for me at the moment and I believe I will be back in action around late February time."