Young Gunner Merida seals loan switch to Spain

Last updated at 20:30 09 January 2008

Real Sociedad have completed the loan signing of Arsenal teenager Fran Merida.

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The 17-year-old midfielder passed his medical with the Spanish second division

club this morning before putting pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at

the Anoeta stadium until the end of the season.

Barcelona-born Merida was one of the players newly-appointed Sociedad president

Inaki Badiola pledged to bring to the Basque club during the lead-up to the

recent elections, which he won.

Sociedad, currently coached by former Fulham boss Chris Coleman, are seventh in

the Segunda Division standings after 19 games, and this weekend host local

rivals Alaves.

Merida joined Arsenal from his hometown club in summer 2006 and made his debut

in the Carling Cup victory at Newcastle last September