Arteta looking forward to Everton return

Mikel Arteta has admitted that returning to his former club Everton on Wednesday night with Arsenal will be special.

It will be the Spaniard’s first return to Goodison Park since leaving the Merseyside club, and Arteta says it will be a strange experience playing against the club where he spent six-and-a-half-years.

"Visiting Everton next week will be really special for me," he told the club’s official website.

"It’s going to be weird to sit in the other changing room, warming up in the opposite half of the pitch and having the crowd against us. I just want to enjoy it."

The 29-year-old midfielder makes no secret of the affection he still retains for his former side, and hopes the Everton fans appreciate the effort he put in during his spell at the club.

"I really can’t wait to go there, and I hope I’ll get a good reception because I gave Everton everything I had in my time there and I love the club.

"Everyone there was great to me and, even though I left, hopefully people understood. There’s no reason for any of us to be unhappy with each other."

By Andy Ha