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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 9, 2006

Moyes tips Arteta to impress this season

Everton manager David Moyes has backed Mikel Arteta to be one of the Premiership's leading players next season because of the strength of the Spaniard's all-round game.

Arteta helped Everton to a 3-2 victory in Russell Anderson's testimonial match against Aberdeen on Tuesday night, creating a goal for James Beattie before Tim Cahill and Victor Anichebe cancelled out Gary Dempsey and Jamie Smith's strikes for the Dons.

The Toffees boss has been impressed with the former Rangers midfielder's contributions during pre-season and thinks the 24-year-old's versatility will be a key component if Everton are to have a successful campaign.

He said: 'If Mikel continues the way he is playing just now then he'll be one of the top performers in the Premiership next season.

'He needs to keep that up and we are talking to him about needing to brush up on one or two little things.

'But he has talent in abundance and he will be a big player for us this year.

'We can play him on the right, on the left or in the middle of the park and he is an all-round footballer who can dribble and pass the ball well.

'He can be the one who will make us play if we can get him on the ball in the right areas, but he has to know his responsibilities as a team player as well'.

Moyes was also happy to see full-backs Alessandro Pistone and Nuno Valente play a part in his side's success at Pittodrie and believes his players are shaping up well ahead of their opening game of the Premiership against Watford on August 19.

He said: 'The players are coming together as a group and the majority of them are ready for the start of the season.

'Alessandro Pistone has missed a large part of pre-season so he is a little bit behind everyone else, but he will be delighted to have got another 45 minutes under his belt.

'And Nuno Valente played an hour for the first time since he came back from the World Cup as he has only been back training for a week.

'We are pleased to get them some games and what we need to do is make sure every player is ready to play no matter when they are called upon.'

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