Everton manager David Moyes believes Mikel Arteta is in the form of his life going into the derby against Liverpool on Monday night.

The 26-year-old Spanish midfielder has become an increasingly influential figure at Goodison Park after arriving initially on loan four years ago.

The Everton manager explained: "Mikel is always looking to score goals and it was a terrific one last week."

He continued: "Hopefully he will get a few more - he is always practising. He has found another dimension to his game.

"We needed someone to put his foot on the ball and control the play for us in the middle of the park. That has given Mikel confidence and the team confidence.

"It has taken him a while to get over the injury but his form has been very good and he has been playing very well.

"We are pleased as he has been an influence on the side for several years.

"Maybe he slipped off it a little bit at the start of the season because of his injury but since he has come back, he has got himself into condition."

Moyes admitted that Arteta - who had a spell at Rangers - found it difficult to adjust to the English game in 2005.

The Scot said: "We brought him in as a central midfield player and he looked a little bit lightweight for the Premier League. Mikkel is now competing and handling the pace of the game much better in the middle."

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