Spain may have a wealth of talent in midfield positions, with Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso just a few among their esteemed number, but it still seems something of an anomaly that they have never been able to find room for Mikel Arteta.
It is a subject that has not gone unnoticed in the Spanish press, with Madrid newspaper Marca running a story from journalist Ignacio Lopez Alberto questioning just why Arteta has been overlooked for so long.
Lopez believes it is 'mystifying' that Arteta has never made an appearance for his country, with the Arsenal vice-captain included in just one provisional Spain squad five years ago before he pulled out through injury.
Arteta has established himself as one of the most accomplished players in his position during almost a decade in the Premier League, while he was become integral to Arsenal since being deployed in a deeper role by Arsene Wenger.
The 31-year-old signed for the Gunners in the transfer window of 2011 having spent six years under David Moyes at Everton, where he was known as something of a stylish midfield goal-getter.
His performances now offer more of an air of seniority as he dictates the play for Arsenal, and his influence will be integral to any success the north London club are to achieve this season.
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