Atlético make Mérida swoop

Spain Under-21 midfielder Fran Mérida has signed a four-year contract at UEFA Europa League winners Club Atlético de Madrid after moving on a free transfer from Arsenal FC.

New Atlético signing Fran Mérida in one of his rare outings for Arsenal
New Atlético signing Fran Mérida in one of his rare outings for Arsenal ©Getty Images

Club Atlético de Madrid have completed the signing of 20-year-old midfielder Fran Mérida from Arsenal FC on a free transfer.

The Spanish Under-21 international has agreed a four-year deal with the UEFA Europa League winners and is Atlético's first addition of the summer – he will be unveiled at the Vicente Calderón on Friday.

A Catalan native, Mérida joined Arsenal from the youth ranks of FC Barcelona in 2005. After finding it difficult to force his way into the Gunners' first team, he spent the second half of the 2007/08 season on loan at Real Sociedad de Fútbol making 17 league appearances and scoring once.

Mérida played just a handful of top-flight games during his time in north London but has been a regular for Spain's youth sides, winning the UEFA European U17 Championship in 2007 and finishing runner-up at the FIFA U-17 World Cup the same year.

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