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Page last updated at 18:20 GMT, Saturday, 21 August 2010 19:20 UK

England call-up interests Spanish-born Mikel Arteta


Arteta would consider playing for England

Everton's Spanish-born midfielder Mikel Arteta says he would consider a call-up to play for England.

The 28-year-old former Rangers player has been resident in England since joining Everton from Real Sociedad in 2005, earning him British citizenship.

"If one day the opportunity comes obviously I would have to consider it very seriously," Arteta told BBC Sport.

Despite impressing in the Premier League, Arteta has never played an international game for Spain.

England coach Fabio Capello was in the stands at Goodison Park to see Arteta play for Everton in the 1-1 draw with Wolves, during which the midfielder showed sparks of the creativity that has made him so important to David Moyes' side.

When asked about the possibility of England selection Arteta replied: "I don't know what his [Capello's] thoughts are.

"I know some people have been talking about it, but I haven't said anything yet because the offer is not there at the moment."


Arteta is not the only native Spaniard plying his trade in the Premier league who is open to the prospect of a call-up to Capello's national squad.

Arsenal's Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia revealed that he had not ruled out the possibility of a representing England, where he has been a resident since joining the Gunners from Celta Vigo in 2004.

Both Almunia and Arteta have a tough task breaking their way into the World Cup-winning Spain squad.

Almunia faces competition from Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas and Liverpool's Pepe Reina, while Arteta would need to battle his way into one of the strongest midfields in world football, in which even Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas does not figure regularly.

After being sidelined for a year between February 2009 and February 2010 with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Arteta has since returned to the Everton side and excelled in their midfield.

At Goodison Park on Saturday, Tim Cahill rewarded Everton for their first half superiority by giving them a half-time lead but Wolves improved after the break and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake earned the visitors a deserved draw.

"We should have taken our chances early in the game," said Arteta. "With only one goal lead you always risk conceding a goal.

"I thought we controlled the game and did enough to earn the three points but Wolves got a goal on the counter-attack and took two points away from us."

It means Everton are still without a victory this season after their 1-0 opening day defeat at Blackburn.

"Two games and only one point is not good enough for us," added Arteta. "We need to start winning and getting points because there are big teams ahead of us who are winning."

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see also
Everton 1-1 Wolves
21 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Arteta signs new deal at Everton
07 Aug 10 |  Everton
Arteta happy with return to form
08 Mar 10 |  Everton
Arteta glad to be back in action
25 Jan 10 |  Everton
Wenger backs Almunia England bid
01 May 09 |  Arsenal
Almunia open to England call-up
25 Dec 07 |  Arsenal

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