Merida relieved to have left Arsenal

The 20-year-old Spanish midfielder rejected a new deal to remain at Emirates Stadium at the end of last season and officially began his Atletico career on Monday after making just six appearances in four seasons with the Gunners.

“I didn't have to think twice about leaving,” Merida told Spanish daily AS. "I'm an Atletico fan and I feel enormously proud to be here.

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Gary Parkinson is a freelance writer, editor, trainer, muso, singer, actor and coach. He spent 14 years at FourFourTwo as the Global Digital Editor and continues to regularly contribute to the magazine and website, including major features on Euro 96, Subbuteo, Robert Maxwell and the inside story of Liverpool's 1990 title win. He is also a Bolton Wanderers fan.