By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger admits he is a long-term admirer of new signing Mikel Arteta.

The Spanish midfielder became Arsenal’s final acquisition of a busy transfer window when he joined from Everton on transfer deadline day and could make his debut against Swansea at the weekend.

Arteta has always had the exemplary technical attributes Wenger demands from his players and has been linked with a move to Emirates Stadium in the past. The manager revealed on Friday that the 29-year-old has been on his radar for a while.

“Yes, for a long time,” he said. “I’ve known him since he played for Paris Saint-Germain. 

“He is one of these players who never had the luck in his career to be completely playing in a consistent way in the Champions League. You feel, if he has that opportunity, he can show how good a player he is.

“I think he had the Spanish qualities but because he has played for a long time in England I’m quite amazed how strong he is in the challenge as well.

“He had a good education in Scotland so he is strong in the challenges.”

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9 Sep 2011