The French midfielder missed the majority of the last campaign due to a series of injury problems which limited the 26-year-old to just five appearances.
Arteta joined from Everton in a £10m deal last summer, and Diaby is confident the Gunners will have a strong midfield for the forthcoming season, with Malaga’s Santi Cazorla and Real Madrid’s Nuri Sahin both rumoured to be on the verge of joining The Emirates outfit.
“Mikel is a great player and he showed last season that he is a very important player in our team.” Diaby told Arsenal’s website.
“I am looking forward to playing next to him. I personally prefer to play with three midfielders because I can go forward and I can also defend. I think it is the position that will suit me the best.
“Of course the midfield is different now because we are all different. The most important thing is to bring out singularities into the team to make it better. If we have a mix of all that it can be a very good thing.”
Diaby also admitted it was a difficult experience watching his team-mates struggle on the pitch last season, with the France international sidelined with injury.
“First of all it does affect you physically because you cannot play,” he added. “And I have to say mentally as well because it is hard.
“The only thing we love is to play football and seeing your team-mates play every weekend while you are on the bench is quite hard.”