By Chris Harris

Mikel Arteta has been a key factor in Arsenal's ever-increasing solidity, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Spanish midfielder was a deadline-day signing from Everton in August and has slotted into the role vacated by Jack Wilshere after the England international underwent ankle surgery.

Arteta has contributed goals and assists to the Arsenal cause and Wenger believes his all-round game has helped lay the foundations for an unbeaten run that now stretches to nine games in all competitions.

"Mikel is an extremely important player in our team because he has both sides that make a team good," Wenger told Arsenal Player.

"He is consistent going forward, technically fantastic and he works very hard for the team. He is an organiser too and does the job defensively in vital parts. We look solid at the moment and he has to take a big part of the credit because he does both jobs offensively and defensively - with quality.

"I am very happy with his defensive job and he is rewarded for it because he plays. If I play him it is because I am happy with the job he does and if he had not done such a consistent job defensively he would not be in the team.

"I believe that Mikel Arteta is a winner and on the pitch he does what is needed to help the team win. That's what I rate."

The full interview with Wenger is now available on Arsenal Player. 

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25 Nov 2011