Mikel Arteta may be sidelined with injury.
But that hasn’t stopped him fulfilling his off-field duties, one of which involves speaking to the Arsenal matchday programme ahead of home games.
In Sunday’s programme for the Aston Villa match, the midfielder has been singing the praises of the number 10’s at the club and has picked Mesut Ozil out as the man who is the best in the squad at delivering the final ball.
Arteta told the programme
“A consistent run has been hard to come by this season, but we feel that after some really positive results, and with players like Mesut, Aaron and Theo fully fit again, there is momentum on our side.
“Having been without him for so long, it was great to see Mesut make his comeback against Stoke and then scoring against Brighton on Sunday.
“I think he is probably the best player in our squad at giving the final ball to the player up front.
“But then, it is also true that when Santi has played in the No 10 role recently he been fantastic – particularly in the win against Manchester City.
“When he was moved centrally a few months ago, his form increased by 100 per cent. He likes to get involved in the game, he has a good range of passing and he creates opportunities – and his work rate is very important as well.
“We saw that at the Etihad, where he was chasing back, winning the ball and retaining possession under pressure in tight areas.
“That is very important in big games.”
The Spaniard is expected to be out until the end of March as he recovers from the operation that was required to remove a bone spur from his ankle.
While, earlier in the week, his agent claimed that Arteta has signed a one-year extension to his current Arsenal contract which expires in the summer.
However, at his weekly press conference, Arsene Wenger stated that there were no updates to give about his contract.