Wenger praises 'influential' Arteta

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Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta is set to face his former club this weekend, as Everton arrive at the Emirates Stadium for Saturday's Barclays Premier League encounter.

After a deadline-day move which saw the Spaniard swap Goodison Park for north London, the 29-year-old has made a bright start to his Gunners career, earning praise from his manager Arsene Wenger.

"Mikel has taken a big importance in our team very quickly," the Frenchman told Arsenal Player. "Of course I knew about his talent, but he is a winner.

"He wants to win. He is a perfectionist guy who wants to give his heart to the team to win football games.

"He is absolutely fantastic. He's a guy who can bring the extra technical ability and works hard for the team as well - offensively and defensively."

Arteta scored his third Arsenal goal in last weekend's 4-0 victory over Wigan at the DW Stadium, and Wenger has praised the all-round impact he has made for the team.

"We are in a job of action, not of talking," he added. "Sometimes we forget that a little bit, that 99 per cent of our job is to act, and one per cent to talk.

"He is in the right process there - he acts, he does. Every day I always feel that top-level people act in a consistent way, and consistency in quantity is how you can define Mikel Arteta."

Mikel Arteta
Premier League

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