Merida loan could be a mistake as options open for Simpson


Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Fran Merida is due to be unveiled as a Levante player tomorrow evening once the terms of his loan move are finalised.

Once completed, it would be Merida’s second loan in Spain, following his spell at Real Sociedad in 2008. Recent quotes attributed to the player suggested that he was unhappy at his lack of game time in North London and was seeking regular football, something which this loan spell will doubtless provide him with.

But Arsenal could be making a mistake in sending him out on loan. Merida has just been promoted to the first-team squad and handed the no.32 shirt following an impressive showing in the Emirates Cup. He has added physicality to his long-standing technical ability and was set to be involved more often with the first-team this season. His loan move back to Spain may increase his desire to return to his homeland on a permanent basis, atlhough it is currently unclear whether this particular loan deal provides Levante with the option to buy once the loan has come to a conclusion.

If Merida needed more game time then he could have been sent to a Championship or lower-table Premier League club in order to get him used to the physical nature of the English game. With Rosicky and Nasri injured, a new attack-minded player is likely to come in which will push Merida further down the Arsenal pecking order.

Returning to his homeland to play in the Spanish second divison seems like a step backwards for a player with so much potetnial.

Another player who could be going out on loan before the transfer deadline is Jay Simpson. The striker is currently some way off a first-team place at Arsenal and is reportedly being courted by several clubs in England and Scotland. As well as West Brom, where he spent the second half of last season; Watford, Reading and Arsenal’s Champions League opponents Celtic are all keeping tabs on the forward. In Simpson’s case a loan would be a good move as he searches for regular, competitive football.

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger will not decide whether to loan out Armand Traore until the end of the transfer window, with Birmingham interested in the Parisian.


  1. In a way both Jack Wilshere and Merida are similar. AW has been asked to try and fast track Wilshere (if the press is to be believed) to get him ready for the world cup. Whereas there is a concern that a long loan spell in Spain may encourage Merida to decide to remain there. I think if he remained in the squad and Wilshere got more starts it would have a negative affect on him. Just my thoughts for what they are worth.

  2. I agree with you, it makes no sense that Merida is being sent out on loan. I don’t elieve players like Diaby are beter than Fran.
    As for Jay I think its better if wenger just sold the guy, its obvious Arsene doesn’t rate him.

  3. yeah it’s an odd move… he’s already proven himself with Sociedad at Spanish second division level. I don’t see what he would learn/gain from spending another season in that division. It’s more puzzling because in the Emirates cup he didn’t look out of place at all. Surely if he was going to go on loan there would have been Primera Liga or Premiership clubs interested as well. He’ll be 20 before this season is out and we need to make sure he keeps pushing on and doesn’t regress.

  4. Could the reason why he is going back out on loan be because he is just not good enough! Even with his performance in the Emirates Cup, I saw nothing in him that said this guy is ready, or good enough for the first team.

    Remember this was the guy who was supposed to be better than Cesc (when we first got him) and just like most of the youth that we get very few, will ever be good enough to mix it at the top.

    I also seem to remember that when he first went to Sociedad last year, they hardly played him at all, We are talking about a 2nd Div Spanish side, If he was good enough he would have been playing and if AW thinks he is good enough he would be playing for Arsenal OR on loan in the Premiership or Championship.

    The same goes for Simpson, he went to West Brom last year, they were fighting relegation AND still he only played a few games, because when these players are seen close up, they just don’t cut it. Include Randall and Barazite in that as well.

  5. I thought i was the only one that share this thought. He is getting to a level where all he need is for the Manager’s faith in him but for one reason or another AW seems not to see what we all see. Yes, he is kind of slow in this league but a regular outing/first team push would have taken care of that. The kind of push that was given to Jack Wilshere last season.

    Worst I was expecting was a loan move to Portsmouth or Burnley or top Championship side; this is not good for his confidence and I guess the guy’s days at Emirates is coming up soon. This is not encouraging at all.

    Remember Lansbury, Corqueline, Frimspong and Randall are closing down on him but the experience/potential is huge and we may regret this in later years.

  6. Hi fellow Gooners,

    it seems many of us have the same feeling about Fran. I too don’t understand why he has to be loaned to Levante.

    Wanting regular football is good but surely he needs a bigger challenge than second segunda. Although, his agent said Merida would love to play for Levante as they plan for promotion to the Primera Division.

    Still I think he is far to talented for that level of football. Rather like to see him be loaned to a Premier side. On a 6 month deal so he can return in Januari if we need him.

  7. Crazy move for the kid, he’s great addition to the squad, he has that X factor when he’s on the ball a master of the disguised pass.

    Arsene “THIS IS A BIG MISTAKE”!!!!!

  8. This gives Henri lansbury a chance i want as many british playes playin for arsenal now. Yh merida is good but i prefer lansbury hes more direct and more of a match winner he can scores goals from anywhere. Plus hes Arsenal through and through. Hes a massive gooner

  9. Why would he go to a Championship club considering none would play to his strengths and probably wouldn’t play him in his preferred position.

  10. I agree with everyone above, I was really looking forward to seeing him getting a few more first team appearance this season as he impressed me in the Emirates Cup. It wouldnt suprise me if he left next season.

  11. Niyi said “He is getting to a level where all he need is for the Manager’s faith in him but for one reason or another AW seems not to see what we all see”

    This comment epitomises perfectly what the problem is. How the hell can ‘we all see’ something that Wenger can’t when he sees Merida in training every day and has a track record as possibly the best youth developing manager in Europe.

  12. Seems stupid sending him out i thought this could be his year to get a chance after last weekend, and do you have any news on gilbert

  13. Very strange move, i would have thought he would have wanted to play in the Carling Cup and then go to a Championship team.

  14. Henri Lansbury is a better central midfielder than Fran merida. Come on gooners merida is good but we got so mnay similar players to him. Lansbury more different hes a goal scorer and plus hes 6ft so will add height to our team

  15. Why would AW play him in both the Emirates cup matches if he is to be loaned out? I’m not convinced that the ‘Spanish’ sources are accurate until it happens

  16. I loved his assist at the weekend. How he picked up Arshavin’s header and was so quick to make that perfect pass to Eduardo, Diaby would have taken ages to think and then ended up with a poor shot. I would like that french donkey out of the club and Merida to be much more involved. he is way too good for the spanish second league, but I do think that Wenger rates him very, very highly.

  17. It`s really crazy sending a player who solely desire to play for a club and wants the manager1s faith in him. AW is trying but have certain errors alongthe way. There is no need to leave such a potential, an addition to the team.

  18. I know what you are saying Fabregas’ Dad, but it’s undeniably the case that Wenger has a history of choosing a select few young players from a very early age and then they become the chosen who will get all the chances to progress (sometimes irrespective of performance i.e Randall). Nothing wrong with that in the case of a Wilshere but it must be hugely frustrating for players like Merida and Barazite when they have no chance to impress at all, and that Wenger had decided this probably a couple of seasons ago at least. It’s very difficult to play your way into Wenger’s thinking as i think he makes up his mind about a player very quickly, which is a shame for the late developers.


  20. Henri Lansbury impressived on the under19s may is the reason why Merida is going on loan. I personal find Marida slow for the Engilsh game, well I might be wrong.

  21. Yeah seems a strange one as he looked decent in the emirates cup & managed to get on the pitch in the prem towards the end of last season. Dont forget though he is still developing & we do have a lot of young midfielders. Perhaps Arsene thinks hes currently behind Ramsey & Lans who was excellent for the England under 19s so his chances here this year would def be limited & he needs to play.
    With regards to his loan well maybe no decent clubs in the UK expressed an interest or the player fancied another stint in Spain?
    You often cant decide WHAT loan clubs want to take players.
    I wonder what will happen with Randall, i dont want to be hard on the lad but he has never really stood out or looked overly impressive to me, Tidy enough player though.
    Also any news on if Gibbs may possibly be loaned, if Traore is gonna be kept as we appear well covered at left back?

  22. I can’t understand the logic in letting Merdia leave. He’s impressed in the Emirates cup and he provides cover for Nasri and Rosicky who are both now injured. It leaves our options on the left wing as Vela, Wilshere, Traore and Diaby. Vela nd Diaby have played no part in pre-season, to me Traore is a left back, which just leaves Jack. Obviously we know Wilshere has an unbelievable amount of potential but would he be able to stand up to the intensity of the 2 Premier Leaguie games a week? Surely keeping Merida around would provide us with another option. As for Simpson, I really don’t think he possess’ the ability to be an Arsenal player. I think he’ll be gone permanently sooner rather than later.

  23. saw him play during the emirates cup, thought he would be the next break through youth player for this season – amazed that hes sent to the second tier of spanish football.

  24. What’s wrong with sending out Merida to gain some games experiences. I think this is a wonderful moves. with this team he has the chance to play every weekend. remember the Boss said all he was lacking is “physical development” and he still has some way to go. Great choice coach.

  25. Can’t AFC withdraw his loan @ anytime? I thought he was a perfect playing w/ Cesc. Good luck to Fran!! On another note will Arsenal ever bring some american players to the club since we are majority owned by one?

    Arsene should sign Steven Taylor of NUFC right now? And keep Nacer in the first team!

    Go AFC!!!!

  26. I have to against the grain and say I agree with Arsene on this one. Fran Merida has great passing ability short and long range similar to Fab in that respect but he is not ready to make an impact on the fast pace of the premier league. He can not offer us more than Denilson, Song or Diaby although he can offer something different. He is no more consistent than any of the above and no better defensively. Fran would be best suited to the Cesc role, which of course we know he is not going to get. He is not good enough on the wings, he cannot beat players often enough, although he might possess a good cross (I don’t know). Fran would be no better than Diaby on the wing I think but less consistent as he lacks the experience.

    He simply would not get enough games to make progress with the first team. He needs playing time and may not get enough at even a Championship club. I think Fran has a lot more to develop particularly mentally before he can become a contender for a 1st team place. I would a agree with some that now Lansbury is fit and well he is ahead of Merida in my rating but that is highly debatable as they are different types of players.

  27. He left Barcelona when he was 16 in order to get first team football and develop his career faster as he was behind the likes of Messi and Bojan.. Since then however he’s received precisely no opportunities in a team which is not as prestigous as Barcelona. He might as well have stayed there to be honest…. I can only imagine that the fact that we were forced to pay £3m compensation to them means that we are reluctant to just let him leave and want to raise his profile in Spain where we will eventually sell for more than we paid… This would explain why he has not been blooded in the English leagues.

    1. he was behind Iniesta, Xavi, and Busquets are Barcelona…

      and the only championship club that he should have gone too is WBA… but they apparently were not interested, so he is back in Spain… calm down guys

  28. I wanted to see a bit more of him. Whenever I’ve seen him I’ve been impressed and with our new 4-3-3 way of playing I think that would of suited a player like him.

  29. A mistake as far as I am concerned and I am disappointed that I will not see him this season.

    I think he should hang in there and hope for a break to go his way. If there is no joy by the end of the season then by all means allow him to go and persue his career somewhere else.

    This move means to me that he will never get a chance at Arsenal and that is a shame.

    As usual, life is so much about being in the right palce at the right time and he is unfortunate that there are people ahead of him – at least ahead of him as seen by AW.

    After all the waiting and hard work it seems a shame just to let him disappear.

  30. He should not allow the boy to move from the club,because you don’t know what will appen in case of injrey.Please don’t let him move he can help van-peise,edourdo,fabregas to win the altimate tittel for the team as will as we the outsideders are praying to the ALMIGHTY GOD.

  31. terribad move

    I’m a huge fan of Arsene, but just recently some of the stuff that’s been happening seems totally crazy.

    If we win the CL or Premiership this season he will be vindicated, but after the first half against Valncia it looks like we’re still dodgy as hell at the back and our attacking optinos while all being very good are not world class.

    Hope I?m wrong, but sensing a season of fail ahead.

  32. I kind of see the reasoming of sending him out on loan, but I am deeply uncomfortable with sending him abroad. If he gets too comfortable in his home country he will be very easily tapped up. All of our youngsters who are just breaking through need to be looked after, closely.

  33. I understand all the above but isn’t the truth that he like so many of our kids, and I exclude Wilshire from this, are quite good but not quite good enough at the top level. Seems to me we will become a breeding ground for mid table teams, That would be fine if Wenger spent the returns on truly exceptional talent. Lets all be truthful; Vela , Merida ,Lansbury etc are very good not truly outstanding.

  34. Lets think about it:

    In the central roles he is against Fabrigas, Song, Denilson, Diaby, Rosiky, Nasri, Ramsay, Wilshire, Lansbury

    On the Wings: Walcott, Nasri, Arshavin, Eduardo, Eboue, Diaby, Wilshire, Traore, can i go on.

    As the second striker: Arshavin, RVP, Fabrigas, Wilshire, Nasri

  35. That’s one thing i don’t understand at all about mr. Wenger, there’s been inspiring performances in pre-season from Merida, Wilshere and Traore, but when the league begins, who’s in the first XI? DIABY, playing out of position, don’t understand it at all? What’s the intention to bring youngsters through the system with the process of several years and when they are finally showing their feet, they actually don’t get the chance after all? Merida is that kind of player-type that fans would like to see in XI or at least in bench, but year after year we got DIABY, playing out of position! There’s nothing new to be expected this season, it will be all the same like last season, there’s no such of consistency or development in our squad that would make the difference this year! I’m very disappointed!!!

  36. It is a very very poor decision and a gargantuan mistake. Look, we have not purchased any worthy players, Nasri is long term injured, we sold Adebayor and Toure and the squad’s size is reduced. Why the urgency to loan out an outstanding midfielder ?
    Any fans can see the physical presence of Merida in midfield and we do not have anyone like him. Denilson, Nasri, Eboue, Diaby are all technically good players but they are all like elephants but opponents are like dinosaurs. We have one newly discovered dinosaur but Wenger decided to gift wrapped him to another club. The only weakness of Merida is his lack of games and experience but can we not turn him into a well oiled machine with regular games since he is a fast learner. One outstanding part of Merida’s game is his attacking instinct which non of our present first teamers have. All of them are holding players who does everything except initiating attacks. Look back at Viera, Petit, Pires and Lundberg, these midfielders attack and score goals. Open up our eyes ! Non of the present lot can, only Fabregas who occasionally score a couple. Mr. Wenger and Mr. Gazidis even the sage Confucius make mistakes and mere mortals like you certainly will.

  37. Very disappointing coz I can see Cesc leaving us in the near future and Merida would’ve been a good replacement.

  38. —>Merida did not impress me. I thought he would have been a massive talent.

    —>John, you’ve been ignored so far, but I share your point: Landsbury could be more efficient for us rather than Merida.

    —>Developing British talent will not only help the senior squad, but also assure us that if we are in a period of bad results, players won’t come and say: I want to go. They’ll play for the sake of the club.

    —>Give to Landsbury enough time and you’ll see what he can do. He’s, in my opinion, more physical than Merida which is a major plus in the EPL.

    —>About Merida, I’ve seen Denilson played and if Merida turns out like him, well, I’ll say: ad we could have opted for a better player. Yes, he might be a late bloomer, but with the current situation Arsenal are living, we need fast development or players that can be suited right after their introduction t the Premiership.

    —>He has been loaned to Levante. If he is really that good, he’ll certainly attract interest from Valencia, Barcelona and other clubs. If not, than off load him. The guy might just have some key attribute, but we don’t have time.

  39. In a 4-2-3-1 (as played during the Emirate Cup), the two are the most important because they screen the defense and bar the occasional long ball they start all the movement forward.
    During the Emirate Cup everybody was raving about Wilshere, but the player who let that happen by having tactical discipline (helping the defense when necessary but running forward when the opportunity rose) and cool passing was Merida.
    With Nasri and Rosicky injured, there was an opportunity to bed Merida in that role. I also suspect that Diaby will get injured again.

    During the game against Valencia, we reverted back to a 4-1-4-1 system who again let us exposed to long diagonal crossfield passes. I can see us again conceding on the few attacks that the premiership opposition will have against us.

    Anybody who have seen the reserve games would have seen that Henri Lansbury is not yet ready for the premiership in a central midfield role. He cannot tackle (a la Coquelin), he can’t screen a defense (a la Frimpong) and his passing range is not as good and sharp than Merida.

    There is a reason why Jay Simpson has not been involved with the first team yet, it is because he is deemed not good enough and will be shipped pretty soon either permanently or loaned out in a view to a permanent move.

    Some of La Liga team were interested in Merida, but because their new technical director with whom Arsene Wenger has good relationship want to re-create the same feeding relationship where we send Carlos Vela, Pedro Bothelo, Norveidt, Merida has been send to Levante. We have some kind of moral agreement that he will be played and in the postion that Arsenal want.

    The role of Arsenal FC academy is not to produce English players, but players for Arsenal Football club.
    Third eye – if you honestly think that English players will show more loyalty to Arsenal than foreigner, you are seriously deluded. Ashley Cole is not exactly the poster boy for that assumption. Check the number of young Arsenal players who have jumped ship to Spurs in the last couple of years, even in the reserve or the youth team. They are all English.
    I suspect that youngsters who owe their career to Arsene Wenger are more likely to show loyalty and respect to him. For that reason they are more likely to stick with Arsenal.

  40. It’s not only mistake but fatal one. He is much better than Denilson and Diaby which should be loan or sold longe time ago.

    Arsene always have the wrong priority, expect another trophyless year. Valenica’s result clearly shown than we’re no match for a 2nd tier Spanish team.

    ManU beat Valencia flat by 2 – Nil
    & Valencia beat us 2 – Nil.

    What does this result shown?

    Arsene wake up, don’t sleep with the money…..


  41. The perfect loan club for Merida would be Wigan, they could provide premier league football with a Spanish manager who loves to play good football.

  42. It is an odd move but I suppose the plus side is that Merida will get plenty of games in an environment where he is comfortable. IT could be largely his choice, wenger doesn’t like sending kids to places where they don’t want to go. Its not easy going abroad at 16 and some lads don’t adjust well, pushing him off to a championship club may have made things worse. Nordveidt was looking dodgy but did well after a spell back in his home country, perhaps Merida will blossom too. He may want to stay in Spain long term but at least thi swill get him a repuation there especially if he can break into the Spain u21 side on a regular basis. Wenger has been wise to give a squad shirt to tell him that he is wanted abck at Arsenal.

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