Arsene Wenger has revealed that Johan Djourou is pushing for a more regular place in the Arsenal side.
The Switzerland international has made more than 50 appearances for the Gunners since moving to the club in 2003.
He has found his path to the first team blocked by more experienced players such as Kolo Toure, William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre this season.
However, Wenger has been impressed by the improvements Djourou has made to his game in recent months and has hinted that he could soon get a run in the side.
"Johan Djourou is not comparable to the player he was six months ago," Wenger told the club's official website.
"He has gained in personality, in determination and in quality. I spoke with the Swiss national team coach last week and I was telling him how good he is.
"He is pushing all the other players."
Arsenal have been criticised again this season for struggling to cope with some of the more physical sides in the Premier League.
And Wenger believes Djourou's size and strength could prove vital to Arsenal.
He said: "At the back you want players who are strong in the duels and strong in the air.
"Johan's size is a big advantage. He is among the top quality."