Throughout the course of an English Premier League season, several players are spoken of. While some bask in the spotlight, others carry on rather quietly and get the job done. For one man, it has been business as usual from the first day of the season and, after being entrusted with a new role, has adapted well to it. While he might not be the most flamboyant or outspoken person, Mikel Arteta, has proved to be more than an asset for Arsenal this season.
Just days before the end of the Transfer Window, Arsenal witnessed the departure of Alex Song. With neither Coquelin nor Frimpong (injured at the time) ready to step up, Arsene Wenger was left with little choice but to deputise Mikel Arteta with this responsibility. Throughout his career, Arteta has predominantly been a player with an attacking mind-set. Playing as a defensive midfielder was something the Spaniard had to adapt rather quickly. However, from the word go, Arteta has performed admirably and week-in week-out his tireless performances cannot be questioned. His ability to understand situations, coupled with his strict discipline has seen this make-shift defensive option for Arsenal succeed in the absence of a dedicated holding player.
With the summer of 2013 approaching fast, Arsene Wenger knows all too well the importance of buying players, for the club to compete with the very best. A holding player is paramount to free-up Arteta and maintain the right balance in the squad. The Gunners have shipped some sloppy goals this season, but how Arteta has adapted to this crucial role has been nothing short of magnificent. His versatility is there for all to see, yet most Arsenal fans would not like to see such a talented player wasting his time in a role he has done justice to but just doesn’t fit.
Mikel Arteta's Performances in the Premier League.
Season Played Goals Assist
2011/12 29 6 3
2012/13 26 5 2