Mikel Arteta says it has "been a dream" to represent Arsenal - because of his admiration for the club's playing style.
Four years ago this week the Spanish midfielder made his Gunners debut in a 1-0 victory against Swansea City at Emirates Stadium.
Arteta was appointed club captain at the start of the 2014/15 season, and he says it is "a privilege” for him.
“It has been a dream and a real pleasure to be part of this club,” the Spaniard told Arsenal Player. "I was always an Arsenal supporter when I was in England because I loved the club’s philosophy and I wanted to enjoy this club.
"I think I have been developing every year to be more and more important to the point where I’m the Arsenal captain, which is something I’m really privileged and honoured to do.
“Last year I had some difficult moments with my injury, but I have managed to win trophies - which [the club] didn’t do for nine years - and be a big part of this club so I’m really happy."
Arteta made his debut in the same match as current vice-captain Per Mertesacker, with the duo forging a close understanding ever since.
"I think we have had very similar careers at the club," Arteta said. "Per is a player and a person I really respect and he has been really helpful with me. We have a very good relationship and hopefully we can continue that."
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