Mérida loaned out to Braga

The midfielder will spend the 2011/12 season in the Portuguese Primeira Liga

Fran Mérida at a press conference (europapress.es)

Fran Mérida at a press conference (europapress.es)

SC Braga have confirmed on their official website that they have signed Atlético midfielder Fran Mérida on loan for one year.

“Fran Mérida will play at SC Braga this season,” reads the Portuguese side’s announcement before it boldly claims Fran “is one of the most promising players in Spanish football.”

The statement also assures Braga fans that “many believe [Mérida] will be a starter for ‘la Roja’ in the future.”

That’s the same type of optimism that Atleti fans displayed when the gifted young playmaker arrived from Arsenal last summer, having grown fed up of warming the bench in London.

Unfortunately, aside from lifting the UEFA Super Cup in his official debut against Inter Milan in Monaco a year ago, the 21-year-old’s first campaign with los Rojiblancos wasn’t any less frustrating than his time in England.

Mérida didn’t see much action in our 2010/11 season, as he was not favoured by former coach Quique Sanchez Flores.

The La Masia product apparently wasn’t able to impress new manager Gregorio Manzano this pre-season either, though, much like Elias’ situation, an overbooked midfield complicated his short term situation with los Colchoneros.

According to AS, Mérida’s transfer is part of a package deal to be announced soon for Braga left-winger Pizzi, the player billed by the Spanish media as Diego Forlán’s replacement.

At Saturday’s pre-game press conference, Manzano confirmed the Uruguayan striker’s departure to Italy is imminent.

“[Forlán] is negotiating with Inter and it is expected the deal will be finalised within hours,” Manzano said.

  • Wish you all the best at braga Merida. Please where will Elias be playing this season after being omitted from atletico squad

  • starvs

    I’ve heard sporting Lisbon for Elias, just a rumour of course though

  • Chalet

    I wish we could have seen more from Fran!
    Personally I feel a bit sorry for him – and I really wish him well.

  • Javi

    I don’t think he was given a real opportunity to show his talent with us Hopefully at Braga he will get plenty of playing tine so he can develop properly and take his place on the starting 11 with Atleti

  • Xisco

    I think it would have been better for him to join La Real or Arsenal as Wenger had too much faith in him, perhaps Wenger could bring out the best of Merida because he knows him and more importantly, Wenger knows how to work with young players (except today, it wasn’t really one of his best day as a coach!), but anyways. hopefully Fran can find his form, because he is extremely talented.

  • roberto

    there is a buy option on his loan deal ?

  • g

    lol from PL and chapions league to Braga?? If he had been a smart kid he would have been Arsenals new Cesc this year, playing day in and day out on the highest level. Has he ever been further away from the spanish team?
    He blew it. He will become a decent player in the future, but never a star like he potentially could have been.