DAVID MOYES believes Everton can now unleash the “proper Mikel Arteta” after admitting the Spaniard had become affected by the speculation surrounding his future.
Arteta was heavily linked with a move away from Goodison before reaffirming his commitment to the club at the weekend by agreeing a new five-year deal at the club.
Moyes is convinced the rumours and conjecture had unsettled the 28-year-old during pre-season preparations that were also disrupted by the player getting married.
But with Arteta’s future now sorted, the Goodison manager is convinced Everton will once again see the best of the talismanic Spanish schemer.
“It’s nice to get rid of the speculation and make sure he is a part of future years,” said Moyes.
“When you have good players there is always a feeling you can lose them to other clubs. But we are a good team now and I think the players realise that.
“Mikel is a massive part of that. Hopefully his focus will be a bit better now. He has been a little mixed up in recent weeks with different things.
“He got married and there’s been the stuff about his contract. But now we can start getting him focused and get the proper Mikel back.”
Moyes reckons Arteta’s new contract reinforces the message to any potential suitors that Everton have no intention of letting go of any of their most-prized assets unless tempted with vast sums of money.
“We aren’t going to allow people just to take our players on the cheap,” he said. “If they want them, they are going to have to come with bags of money. We have put together a squad we want to keep, we have a good team and we don’t want to get rid of it.
“If the club needs money, then yes, we have players we can sell so they can get their money back. But we don’t need to do that.
“We don’t need money. We don’t have any money, but we don’t need any right now.
“We are happy with our squad and the team we have got has got a really, really good chance of doing well.”
Moyes has worked under tight financial restraints this summer, with Jermaine Beckford and Jan Mucha arriving on free transfers and young French striker Magaye Gueye for just £1m.
The manager has instead concentrated on keeping his squad together, with Arteta joining Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman in signing a long-term contract.
And Moyes added: “There’s nobody leaving as far as I’m concerned unless we get a sack of money. I can hardly answer it any other way.
“But I can’t see us bringing anyone else in now.
“We don’t have any cash, and that’s the way it is.”
Meanwhile Seamus Coleman has paid tribute to Shane Duffy, who returned to action at the weekend after suffereing a life threatening injury last season.
Duffy figured alongside Coleman in a pre-season friendly against Sligo Rovers on Sunday months ahead of schedule of his anticipated return.
The young defender was left fighting for his life after a freak accident in a practice match with the Republic of Ireland senior squad in May left him with serious internal bleeding.
Duffy was expected to be out for
six months but displayed remarkable powers of recovery to help an Everton XI to a 2-0 win over Coleman’s former club at the Showgrounds.
“It’s brilliant to see Duffy back,” saidColeman, who has picked up the FAI Under 21 Player of he Year Award.
“I think a lot of people actually realise how lucky he is and he was very close to maybe not even being here so he will be counting his lucky stars really.”
Meanwhile, Iain Turner has received his first call-up to the full Scotland squad. The Everton goalkeeper has been drafted in to Craig Levein’s squad ahead of Wednesday’s friendly against Sweden in Stockholm. Turner has represented Scotland at Under-21 and B level and joins the senior set-up as a replacement for the injured Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall.