Arsenal's Merida accepting Spain return

Arsenal youngster Fran Merida is on his way back to Spain.

Merida will go on loan to Real Sociedad until the end of the season.

A source close to Merida told The Sun: "This is definitely just a temporary switch as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger thinks very highly of Fran.

"It was decided that it was the best thing to help the kid's development for him to go on loan for six months. But Fran will be coming back at the end of the season and he's confident he will stake a claim for a first-team place next season."

Wenger wants Merida, 17, to play a number of games in Spain as it is difficult for him to dislodge one of the established midfield stars with Arsenal pushing for the Premier League title.

Merida earned his Fabregas tag because he plays in the same position as the Gunners maestro and has also come from Barcelona's academy.

Arsenal incurred Barca's wrath when they poached the youngster and a court awarded the Catalan giants £2.3million compensation.

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