Arsenal’s captain, Mikel Arteta, has praised Stoke for the business they have done over the summer.

With talents you wouldn’t normally associate with Stoke arriving, including Ibrahim Afellay and Xherdan Shaqiri (accused of joining Stoke for the money), the Potters bring with them a different proposition than the usual clog-it and kick-em style that they usually turn up with.

Speaking to the matchday programme, Mikel said “The whole squad know that they will provide us with a considerable test.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: Mikel Arteta of Arsenal competes with Charlie Adam of Stoke City during the Barclays Pemier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium on March 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Charlie Adam kicking anything he wants (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“I think Hughes has done a really good job. He’s managed to keep getting good results while playing more attractive football.

“They’ve invested and have bought some top players – guys like Bojan, Shaqiri, Afellay and Arnautovic. That’s unbelievable and demonstrates the level of investment and the power of this league.

“You saw it with Crystal Palace too when they bought Yohan Cabaye. In my opinion, that’s why the Premier League is the best in the world.

“Stoke are still a physical side but there may not be that focus on playing as direct as they did before. They can definitely play and we’ll be aware of that this afternoon.”

Arsenal will be hoping they can kick start their season at home with all three points but it remains to be seen what sort of effect the international break has had on the players.

Olivier Giroud will hopefully be looking to make a statement after being booed by his own fans but the good news is that Laurent Koscielny should be fit to play despite being rested by France because of a back problem and Per Mertesacker has recovered from the illness that kept him out of Arsenal’s last two games.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.