The Swiss has endured a difficult season with the Gunners, losing his captaincy under Unai Emery before Arteta took over.
But he came back from an ankle problem to excel against Southampton as the Gunners picked up a 2-0 league win.
"He's a big presence," Arteta said.
"He's someone who doesn't hide. He has very clear principles and values, and he puts that on the pitch every time he's there.
"His commitment is excellent and he's a really good example for the rest. But I don't like to focus on any individual.
"Today the starters, the subs and the players that I didn't use all had the right energy, with the right commitment and the right intention every time they jumped into the pitch."