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Arsenal midfield maestro backs 'ideal captain' Mikel Arteta

Santi Cazorla believes his compatriot will be a great captain for the Gunners.

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla insists that Mikel Arteta was "born to be captain" after his fellow Spaniard was handed the armband at the Emirates Stadium.

Arteta was promoted from being vice-captain under Thomas Vermaelen when the Belgian centre back joined Barcelona over the summer.

One of the most senior figures among the Gunners' playing staff, the 32-year-old played a key role in helping Cazorla adjust to life in the Premier League, and the former Malaga man was delighted to see his compatriot named as skipper.

“It makes me very happy,” Cazorla told Arsenal Player. “It was important for me to have him around when I arrived here. He helped me a lot on and off the pitch. He really deserves it.

“There are always players who are born to be a captain and he is one of them. He talks a lot on the pitch and also in the dressing room.

“He is always up for whatever the guys need. And that is what a captain has to do: transmitting conviction in order to keep the team together. And Mikel is prepared to do this.

Cazorla says that Arteta's professionalism, motivational skills and passion for the game make him "the ideal captain, and that he plays a vital role as the go-between for the players and manager Arsene Wenger.

“It is easy to tell what he’s like [as a person]. He is a guy who lives for football. He is always looking after himself, he is super professional and he also cares about the team so everyone is happy. That is why he is the ideal captain," he said.

“Whenever there is a problem he is the one that goes and talks to the manager. He leads this group, so this captaincy is well deserved after his hard work here at Arsenal.

“He speaks the group when there is a problem. Whenever there is a meeting with the manager he is the first one telling everybody. He is always there for whatever problem it may be and also to address it with the manager.

“He transmits that motivation you need before an important game. The captain has to be the first one to speak. Mikel was doing this when he didn't wear the armband, so now he is the captain he will do so even more."

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