By Joe Brewin
Arsène Wenger believes Mikel Arteta has played a vital role as Arsenal’s ‘quiet hero’ this season.
The Spaniard has been a hit since moving from Everton last summer and he is set to return to Goodison Park on Wednesday night for Arsenal’s Premier League clash.
Arteta has become a mainstay in Wenger’s midfield and the manager is a big admirer of the understated 29-year-old.
“He always gives you a certain level of quality,” the Frenchman told Arsenal Player. “He is always 100 per cent focused and committed and that is what you want from a real professional. He brings the best out of other players.
“I believe he is a winner and a fighter as well. I think he possesses both aspects of the game of a real midfielder - that means he can defend and he can attack. That is what we looked for.”
Wenger also picked out Aaron Ramsey for praise after stepping up to the mark following the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
“It is basically his first full season and he has done extremely well,” said Wenger. “He can learn from the experience of players like Arteta, Song and Rosicky. That is something vital when you want to develop players.
“We lost Diaby as well and people forget that he played a big part in many games last year. I believe that the players who came in did a good job.”
Watch the full interview with the boss on Arsenal Player now.