Everton must keep hold of star players - Mikel Arteta

By Chris BevanBBC Sport

Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta says he understands fans' concern about the lack of signings and stresses they must keep their top stars.

The Toffees have not bought anyone this summer and Arteta told BBC Sport: "We know the situation at the moment. We cannot spend money like other clubs.

"That is sensible, even if it is not very popular.

"But at least we have been able to keep our best players. If we cannot sign new players we must keep the ones we have."

Defender Phil Jagielka and midfielder Jack Rodwell are among the Toffees players to have been linked with moves away from Goodison Park in the last few months.

"It has been the same with myself, with Tim Cahill, Marouane Fellaini and so many other players in previous years," Arteta added. "It is important that we stayed, now and for the future."

And the 29-year-old Spaniard said he was still content to remain on Merseyside, despite his frustration at the financial restrictions under the current regime.

"I am happy here, I always have been," Arteta explained. "I want to aim to win trophies, play in the Champions League and keep doing better and better. "But at the moment it is really difficult because we are competing against strong clubs that are really powerful financially.

"If someone comes and buys the club then it is a different story but at the moment the club cannot make stupid signings that might put us in trouble for the next few years. We have to be realistic.

"Do we need to buy players? Hopefully, by the end of August someone will come in who will help but if that is not the case then we know what we have got in the team and we will have to fight."

The lack of money he has had to spend has also led to speculation over the future of David Moyes as Toffees boss.

"People seem to be more critical of him now, even though you cannot fault him for not signing players," Arteta said.

"Am I worried he might leave? No, what I know about him 100% is that he loves the club. I think people need to stay calm because they have got the right person as manager."

Arteta, who has suffered from serious knee and hamstring problems in the last two years, missed most of pre-season after picking up a foot injury during Everton's summer tour of the United States.

But he has recovered in time to face QPR on Saturday in what will be Everton's first game of the new campaign, following the postponement of their game against Tottenham last week.

The Toffees finished seventh in the Premier League last year despite a dreadful early run that saw them fail to win any of their six games.

"I don't want to focus on how well we are going to finish, just on how well we are going to start because it was a disaster last year," he said. "We don't want to go through that again."

You can see more from Mikel Arteta on Football Focus this Saturday 20 August on BBC One & the BBC Sport website from 1215 BST, where Dan Walker will be joined in the studio by former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.