Arsenal FC have signed French Under-19 international midfielder Vassiriki Diaby on a four-year contract from AJ Auxerre for a reported fee of €3m.
The defensive midfielder has agreed a four-year contract with the English Premiership club and could feature in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds despite appearing twice for Auxerre against PFC Levski Sofia in the UEFA Cup. Diaby has played ten league games for the Burgundy team over the past four seasons, scoring his first goal in a 3-1 Ligue 1 defeat at Stade Rennais FC on 10 September.
Diaby was a vital figure in the France side that claimed the UEFA European Under-19 Championship trophy in 2004/05 with a 3-1 victory against England in the final in Northern Ireland, missing just one of his country's eleven matches in the competition. "The player wanted to join Arsenal and we managed to reach an agreement," said Auxerre vice-president Gérard Bourgoin.