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Arteta - The closest the Premier League has to Xavi

Arsenal star Mikel Arteta is the second best midfielder in Europe when it comes to completing passes. And there is no shame in being behind only Xavi.

Taking a look at the top 15 passing midfielders in Europe's top leagues, by pass completion percentage. 

Here they are...

1) Xavi - Barcelona - 96.3 per cent

2) Mikel Arteta - Arsenal - 93.8 per cent

3) Clement Chantome - PSG - 93.5 per cent

4) Joe Allen - Liverpool - 92.6 per cent 

5) Valon Behrami - Napoli - 92.5 per cent

6) Leon Britton - Swansea - 92.2 per cent

7) Paul Scholes - Manchester United - 92.1 per cent

8) Jack Rodwell - Manchester City - 92 per cent

9) Blaise Matuidi - PSG - 91.8 per cent

10) Samir Nasri - Manchester City - 91.5 per cent

11) Nigel de Jong - AC Milan - 91.4 per cent

12) Pedro - Barcelona - 91.2 per cent

13) Damien Duff - Fulham - 91.1 per cent

14) Rio Mavuba - Lille - 91.1 per cent

15) Jonathan de Guzman - 90.9 per cent

Analysis: While only just seven games into the Premier League season, already the league table is taking shape, and equally these such statistics should not be distorted either. Seeing Mikel Arteta at the top, flying the flag for the Premier League underlines just what an excellent signing he has been for the Gunners since making the move from Everton on transfer deadline day in 2011.

The Spaniard has added a touch of composure to the Arsenal midfield, and looks to be improving further with every game, striking up an understanding with compatriot Cazorla. Arsenal fans will rightly be salivating at the prospect of Wilshere returning too. Arteta is playing a different role this season, deeper in the midfield, and he said last week it is one he is 'comfortable' with, which is born out by these statistics.

From a wider perspective, it is quite impressive to see so many Premier League players, or former players (De Jong and Behrami) featuring on the list, although it should be pointed out there are just two Englishmen, Scholes and Rodwell, the former of which is retired from international football.

Are you impressed by Arteta's form with Arsenal so far? How influential can he be for the Gunners?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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