Diaby is six foot two inches!
With the immense Patrick Vieira and hugely underrated Edu leaving Highbury last summer, it is with some urgency that Arsene Wenger needed extra CM back-up to Fabregas, Flamini and Gilberto.
So it is good news that Arsenal - according to breaking news reports - has signed the 19 year old Auxerre central midfielder Vassiriki Abou Diaby in a four-year deal.
The L'equipe website says he is 1 metre 88 cms. This is fantastic because Arsenal has desperately lacked a central midfielder with natural physical presence this season.
He won the European Under 19 Championships with France last summer which means he has the same pedigree as Phillipe Senderos.
And as he has been schooled in the French youth international set-up, plus at Auxerre, it is fair to conclude he should be a highly technical player as well as having a good physical presence.
After the Portsmouth match, Arsene Wenger made these analytical comments about Mathieu Flamini:
"Mathieu is more of a mobile player than an impact player. He would benefit from the pitch being 10 yards longer and wider because he can run unbelievably well. Vieira was more an impact player. Every fight was better for him and he won the ball. On a short pitch and squeezed pitch like we have at Highbury you need to be an impact player or have really quick technique."
I hope Wenger has bought Diaby because he has the attributes to be a successor to Pat in the sense of being an 'impact player' with excellent physical power and high technical ability. If he does meet this description, it will just be what AFC has been looking for.
I look forward to seeing Diaby in action and the exact potential that he has. If anyone has seen him play in Ligue One or in last summer's Under 19 European Championships it will be great to have your opinion on him.
P.S. Found this comment on Diaby from Amy Lawrence of the Observer in her analysis of the victorious French Under 19's:
"Arsene Wenger would be crazy not to snap up Vassariki Diaby, who did an outstanding impression of a young Patrick Vieira."