Arteta expects good Everton reception

Borehamwood Times: Mikel Arteta Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has claimed there is no reason for Everton fans to abuse him when he returns to Goodison Park next week, despite the manner of his departure to Arsenal.

Gunners midfielder Arteta ended six-and-a-half years as a Toffees player this season when he submitted a transfer request an hour before the August window closed. The lateness of the move prevented Everton from reinvesting the £10million they recouped until the turn of the year, something that may not have gone down well with some supporters.

Arteta said: "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."

He added: "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."

Arteta, 29, is relishing running out at Goodison again, but admitted it would be strange to do so for a rival club.

"Visiting Everton next week will be really special for me," he told Arsenal's official website, www.arsenal.com.

"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."

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