In the most dramatic of deadline day moves, Mikel Arteta's £10m transfer from Everton to Arsenal went right to the wire.
The stylish, cultured Spaniard is the man charged with filling the creative void in Arsenal's midfield left by the departures of his countryman Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Blessed with great composure, the ability to beat his man and pinpoint accuracy when it comes to passing, Arteta has been one of the Premier League's most consistent performers in recent years.
Like Fabregas, Arteta was raised in the footballing tradition of Barcelona. He joined the club when he was 15 and made his debut at 16, coming on for his hero, Pep Guardiola. The young Arteta modelled his game on that of Guardiola, an elegant and composed deep-lying midfielder. It was in this position that he first made his name in a loan spell with Paris St Germain, where he played with Ronaldinho.
His performances in Paris caught the eye of Rangers boss Walter Smith and the Glasgow club paid £5.8 million to bring him to Glasgow. He was an immediate success. In the 2002/03 season he helped the club to the domestic treble of the Scottish Premier League, Scottish Cup and League Cup. He was unfortunate with injuries in his second year in Glasgow and made the move to his hometown club, Real Sociedad.
After a year at Sociedad, Everton manager David Moyes brought Arteta on loan to replace Thomas Gravesen in January 2005. Employing him on the right side of midfield, Moyes has got the best out of the former Spanish Under-21 international and in his first half season Arteta helped Everton win a Champions League spot. Despite the Toffees struggling to repeat that success in the 2005/06 campaign, Arteta grew into his role on the right and was named player of the season, an award he won again the following season.
One thing missing from Arteta's list of achievements is a call-up to the full Spain squad, but with an opportunity to showcase his ability with Arsenal, that could be about to change.