- Born: 28/03/1982
- Birthplace: San Sebastian
- Nationality: Spanish
- Apps/ Goals: 197 (12) / 33
The skillful and versatile midfielder began his career with Barcelona at the age of 15 before moving to Paris Saint-Germain FC in 2000.
Rangers brought him to Glasgow two years later for a fee of £5.8million and he was part of the team that won the Scottish Premier League, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup in 2003.
Mikel enjoyed a successful debut campaign at Ibrox and quickly established himself as a fans' favourite only for injury and loss of form to curtail his progress in his second season.
Real Sociedad paid £2.5m to take the player back to Spain as the replacement for Liverpool-bound Xabi Alonso in the summer of 2004. The playmaker had been keen to move back to San Sebastian and signed a contract until June 2008 with the option of a further two seasons.
However, Mikel struggled to hold down a regular place at La Real following a change of management and fell further down the pecking order before Christmas 2004 when he sustained a knee injury that kept him out for a month.
The Blues signed him on loan in January 2005 until the end of the season with a view to a permanent move.
The playmaker impressed with a host of impressive displays, including an eye-catching goal from a free-kick in the 4-0 defeat of Crystal Palace.
As a result of his form, the Blues chose to take up the option of signing him, concluding the deal in July 2005 for a fee of £2million.
He was one of the major plus points from the 2005/06 campaign, earning the official Player of the Season title as well as the Players' Player of the Season accolade.
Arteta carried that rich vein of form into the following season where his creativity was an essential part of Everton's attacking play. He had also added goals to his game, notching six goals by the end of January.
That improved further a season later, netting nine times in the 2006/07 and once again ending the season as the Player of the Year.
He helped Everton secure Uefa Cup football and was ranked by the ACTIM Index as the sixth best player in the Premiership but that was still not enough to earn him a call-up into the full Spain squad.
During the summer of 2007 he signed a five-year contract, extending his stay at Goodison until 2012. That deal was superceded by another five year deal agreed in August 2010.
Arteta added another accolade to his growing collection during the 2007/08 season, when he picked up North West Footballer of the Year award.
He then became the first Everton player in five years to receive the Liverpool Echo's Sports Personality of the Year award in January 2008.
Arteta suffered a niggling stomach injury in the second half of the season, meaning his effectiveness was reduced.
Shortly before the final game of the campaign, he underwent surgery to rectify the problem.
Arteta, now the wearer of the number 10 shirt, wore the captain's armband for the first time in the 2-2 draw with Newcastle at Goodison in October.
And after being switched to central midfield, Arteta shone, combining some key creative play with vital goal - most notable two free kicks against Sunderland and Hull.
But a knee ligament injury picked up in the 0-0 draw with Newcastle in February ended the Spanard's season as he went under the knife in his homeland.
After almost a year Mikel made his comeback at Goodison in an FA Cup tie with Birmingham and was soon back in the thick of first team action.
He performed impressively in the latter part of the season and after much summer speculation, signed a new five-year deal in August 2010.
Arteta was just regaining his top form when a hamstring tear against Birmingham in Ferbruary hampered his progress. But he was back before the end of the campaign and could reflect on vital goals against Man United and Liverpool amongst his season highlights.
In August 2011 he signed for Arsenal after informing David Moyes he saw his future away from Goodison Park.