New Atletico Madrid signing Fran Merida: I will be eternally grateful to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Spaniard had a 'very good relationship' with former manager...
Fran Merida has insisted that he will be "eternally grateful" to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after the Spaniard was officially presented as an Atletico Madrid player on Friday afternoon.

The 20-year-old midfielder decided to quit the Gunners to join Quique Sanchez Flores' side and although he admits he was settled in north London, a move to Atletico was seemingly too good to refuse.

"There are circumstances in life," he told the press after signing a four-year deal at the Vicente Calderon.

"I was very comfortable at Arsenal, but with the interest of Atletico I did not hesitate.

"I talked to my agent and I told him to deal with such an offer. "

Merida, like former team-mate Cesc Fabregas, joined Arsenal from a very young age after deciding to leave Barcelona's academy and the former Real Sociedad loanee is adamant that he will always hold former mentor Wenger in high regard.

"Wenger looked after me and my family since I arrived in London," Merida continued. "I have a very good relationship with him.

"I am and I will be eternally grateful. Obviously he is not pleased with my departure, but he wished me luck and behaved like a gentleman."

The Spain Under-21 international struggled to establish himself during his time with the Gunners but he is confident that La Liga will ultimately suit his style of play.

"The English league is more physical - very strong players with a very direct game. The Spanish league has a lot of quality and will benefit my game," he told Atletico's official club website.

"I am proud to wear the red and white shirt. I will give everything for the team."

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