In this international break, and what a boring one it has been to be honest, a lot has been said on Arteta, the player who plays for that country which is so good that he'll probably never even get in their squad and the country that will probably demolish England at Wembley on Saturday causing all the papers declaring them "best ever" blah blah blah. But back to Mikel.
Since arriving at the end of the summer, the silky Spaniard has nestled straight into the first team, and scored his second goal of the season with an excellent finish on Saturday.
After his first 8 games it is probably fair to say that he is as neat and tidy on the pitch as he is off it, and he has already become a vital cog in the team with Wilshere's injury. His desire and attitude is excellent to see as well (not everyone can become captain in a David Moyes side) and sharply contrasts previous limp, 'unbothered' attitudes of players previously at the club.
The story of him and Mert getting all the players to eat together at the training ground is exactly the thing we want to hear, and it is already apparent that team morale is quite high at the moment. At least while we're winning.
He was signed for 10 million, with everyone thought he was a direct replacement for Cesc. Yet on assessment, this could not be further from the truth. Mikel has setteled into the deeper role in midfield, tucked next to song and slightly behind Ramsey. The 'Wilshere role' effectively. Like young Jack, the 29 year old has boundless energy and never stops working for the team.
Whilst we are frustrated at not signing the more glamorous Hazard or Gotze etc. Arteta is doing a sound job at the moment and is keeping together the young midfield. He has even averaged 10 more touches per game than our previous Spaniard did last season and his goals/game ratio is a lot better. Although again we must reiterate that you cannot compare the two. Arteta is bringing a lot to the team though, and he has more in him too. Now it feels like we have a lot of potential goals form midfield, with Ramsey and Arteta being accomplished finishers and even Song chipping in the the occasional goal.
He is not a "perfect" player either, and can drift from games, or not make a telling contribution for a whole 90 minutes. Something Wilshere/Cesc or even Ramsey never fail to do. Arteta has even made key errors such as needless free-kicks around our box and failing to follow his man from a throw-in against Tottenham. However, Mikel is the archetype of the "new Arsenal" that Wenger is creating this season. Hardworking, experienced, hungry and quietly effective.