Everton boss Dave Moyes says Mikel Arteta is the heart-and-soul of his current team.
He insisted: "Mikel is looking a bigger and bigger influence for us.
"Now he realises this is HIS Everton and he has a big part to play in where we will finish. For me, the balance between his workrate and skill is right. He's got that Spanish ability and English work ethic and we'll be the first to tell him if we think he's showboating - but his decision-making against Wigan was good.
After victory over Wigan, Arteta won praise from former Blues teammate Kevin Kilbane: "Mikel could be one of the stars of the Premier League this season, certainly he has the ability to do that.
"It has been disappointing for him he's not made the Spanish team because he's good enough to be in. He has all the attributes and isn't restricted by one position.
"He can play anywhere across the midfield and his creativity and ability at the dead ball are second to none.
"When he arrived he didn't actually make that big an impact straight away. But out on the wing he has improved a lot more.