Mikel Arteta has spoken of his excitement as he approaches his first return to Everton with current club Arsenal.
The midfielder spent over six years at Goodison Park and claims that returning to the Merseyside club will be "very special" and hopes that Toffees fans will appreciate his efforts for the club and give him a warm welcome back for the Premier League clash on March 21.
The Spaniard told Arsenal's official website about the mixed emotions upon his return: “Visiting Everton next week will be really special for me.
“It’s going to be weird to sit in the other changing room, warming up in the opposite half of the pitch and having the crowd against us. I just want to enjoy it."
Arteta joined the Gunners on the final day of the summer transfer window in the hunt for trophies and insists that Toffees fans should not bear him any grudges.
He continued: “I really can’t wait to go there, and I hope I’ll get a good reception because I gave Everton everything I had in my time there and I love the club.
"Everyone there was great to me and, even though I left, hopefully people understood. There’s no reason for any of us to be unhappy with each other.”