Sunday, 27th April, 2014

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hinted at signing a young midfielder this summer by admitting Mikel Arteta is at a "difficult" age.

Wenger swooped to snap up the Spanish midfielder in 2011, raiding Everton to secure Arteta's services for a fee of around £10m.

Arteta is now 32 years old however, and turning out in the highly-demanding engine room, Wenger can sense potential issues and a decision having to be made.

The Frenchman could launch a bid for a long-term replacement to the Spaniard, despite concluding he has "a couple of years left".


Wenger was quoted as saying by ITV: "I like Mikel Arteta because of his quality, his focus, his commitment and his 'winner' attitude. I have big respect for what he has achieved this season.

"He is at that difficult age, but he is very conscientious, very professional and he has a couple of years left, yes."

Arteta has never managed to win a senior Spain cap, something which now looks unlikely to come his way but which may, ironically, end up extending his club career.

A product of Barcelona's youth system, the midfielder first tasted British football with Rangers in 2002.

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