Arteta eager for Arsenal 'challenge'

01 September 2011 05:00

Mikel Arteta is looking forward to testing himself in the Champions League with Arsenal following his 10million pound deadline day move from Everton.

The 29-year-old Spaniard is reported to have taken a pay-cut to agree a four-year deal with the Gunners, who ensured their place in European club football's elite competition after a playoff win over Udinese.

"It is a big challenge, a different challenge, fresh for me and I want to see myself on the biggest stage, the Champions League," Arteta told Everton's website.

"I am 29 years old, so I haven't got much time left to take a chance like this one."

Arteta, who spent six-and-a-half years at Goodison Park, added: "I always try hard, I have been as professional as I could.

"I was grateful for the support and the love that the club and the fans showed me. It is very difficult to say goodbye."

As Arteta left Everton, the Toffees welcomed Real Madrid's Royston Drenthe and young Argentinian striker Denis Stracqualursi on season-long loans.

And across Stanley Park Craig Bellamy completed a shock return to Liverpool on a free transfer from Manchester City.

Wales striker Bellamy, 32, left Liverpool four years ago but the presence of boyhood hero Kenny Dalglish as Reds manager inspired his move back to Anfield.

Just across Stanley Park, Craig Bellamy completed a surprise return to Liverpool on a free transfer from Manchester City.

"I've grown up with Kenny Dalglish, now to be signed by him is a massive honour," Bellamy, who spent last season on loan with Championship side Cardiff after failing to impress City manager Roberto Mancini, told Liverpool's website.

"This is an exciting time. When Kenny took over, watching as a fan last season I got the buzz as well and it was great to see Liverpool end the season well."

He added: "I get this opportunity again for Liverpool fans to hopefully see a real good side of me on a playing level."

Blackburn Rovers confirmed the signing of Everton forward Aiyegbeni Yakubu, who has joined for an undisclosed fee on a three-year deal while cancelling the contract of Senegal forward El Hadji Diouf.

Rovers have also brought in former Birmingham central defender Scott Dann.

Elsewhere, QPR -- who on Wednesday's deadline day brought in Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand, confirmed Thursday they had agreed a loan deal for striker Jason Puncheon from second-tier Southampton.

Source: AFP