Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's Mikel Arteta would be an international footballer of some repute, had he been born an Englishman rater than a Spaniard.
At 29, Arteta has never made a senior appearance for his country due, in the main, to the wealth of midfield talent available to La Roja in recent years.
However, Arteta is undoubtedly one of the most cultured midfielders on show in the Barclays Premier League and possesses all the necessary attributes to thrive on the international stage.
That is certainly the opinion of Wenger, who has likened Arteta's situation to that of Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, who was unable to qualify for an international tournament with Wales.
“He is like Ryan Giggs," said the Arsenal boss. "Giggs had the bad luck to play for Wales and they never went to a big tournament.
“And Mikel was born in Spain where you have plenty of midfielders who are absolutely outstanding.
“If he was English he would have had an international career because we know him better than Spanish people know him.”
Arteta, meanwhile, scored his second Arsenal goal on Saturday since a deadline day move from Everton, as the Gunners triumphed 3-0 against Roy Hodgson's West Brom.
Arsenal are now only three points from the Champions League places following a disastrous start to the season.
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