Mikel Arteta has pinpointed Per Mertesacker as the most underrated member of the Arsenal squad and admitted it would be a ‘magnificent’ boost to the Gunners’ chances of qualifying for the Champions League if they were to beat Spurs at the beginning of March.
Answering questions posed by Arseblog readers on the set of a photo shoot for his new PUMA King boots, the Spanish midfielder revealed his admiration for his German teammate’s work ethic.
“Obviously the likes of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are more in the headlines because of the style of football they play.
“Perhaps Per Mertesacker [is underrated] because people think he looks tall and slow, but he’s a very intelligent player, clever and always trying to help his teammates.
“He’s always training hard and keeping up the good work. I think he’s much better than people think.”
Looking ahead to a tough few weeks in the Premier League, Arteta also spoke passionately about emulating recent results over Spurs, knowing the showdown at White Hart Lane in ten days time could prove a decisive turning point in the quest for a top four spot.
“If we can repeat that it would be magnificent,” said the 30-year-old of the two 5-2 victories at the Emirates.
“It’s going to be a big game [on 3 March] because obviously if we win we get really close to them, but if they do it seven points is going to be tough to do from here until the end of the season.”
To watch the full interview with Mikel Arteta, in which our handsome vice-captain talks embarrassing moments, passionate derbies, Wenger-Moyes comparisons, the secret to his hair and more, keep an eye on Arseblog today.