Everton Resigns Mikel Arteta: Will Pienaar Be Shown the Door?

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIAugust 9, 2010

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 25: Mikel Arteta of Everton celebrates after scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Fulham at Goodison Park on April 25, 2010 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
Clint Hughes/Getty Images

David Moyes has scored another one for the Everton faithful over the weekend, signing Mikel Arteta to a five-year contract extension.

The signing of the Spanish midfielder means that Moyes was able to re-sign Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell, Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman, and Arteta during the offseason.

Arteta's new contract also might signal the end of Steven Pienaar's days with Everton. Many have believed, because of financial reasons, that either Arteta or Pienaar would stay. The South African Pienaar has just one year left on his deal. Selling him now may be the smartest move for Moyes.

However, with that logic, comes the somewhat confusing, but strong rumor circulating that Everton is battling Aston Villa for the services of former Portsmouth star Hassan Yebda of Benfica. It is no secret that Yebda has targeted the Premier League, and it looks like either Villa or Everton may secure him.

It is not known at this point if the resignation of Martin O'Neill from Aston Villa would hurt or help their chances of getting Yebda.

The Algerian spent last season on loan at Fratton Park.

Signing Yebda would most certainly require the selling of Pienaar.

Arteta, meanwhile, is thrilled to be staying on with the Blues after rumors had him going all over the place this summer.

"What this summer has made me realize," Arteta told Evertontv, "is how important I am to the club and how important the club is to me. The manager wanted me to stay 120 percent and that makes me feel proud. We are all seeing the club and the future in the same way and that is special; something that you don't always find.

"I have not felt under any pressure because of the way the Chairman and the manager conducted themselves."

Arteta also said, "I know there were two clubs interested in me and we needed to make a decision. I got together with the manager and the chairman and we talked things through. I had a decision to make over whether I wanted to move away or stay and build on what we have here. I know some fans have been asking 'will he be loyal?' Well, I am loyal and I believe in what is happening here."

The 28-year-old Arteta joined the Toffees in 2005 on a loan from Real Sociedad, and after impressing at Merseyside, the Blues picked up the option and signed him.

Before Real Sociedad, Mikel played for Barcelona (as a 15-year-old), Saint-Germain FC, and Rangers.

Arteta missed almost a year of action with a knee-injury suffered in February of 2009 before finally returning to action in January of this year, helping Everton to a strong finish in the Premier League.