Wenger impressed by Merida

Young Spanish midfielder Fran Merida took the plaudits after a starring role in Arsenal's 2-1 win at home to Liverpool in the fourth round of the Carling Cup.

The 19-year-old was close to leaving the Gunners on loan earlier this season, before manager Arsene Wenger opted to keep the teenager at the Emirates Stadium.

The Frenchman said after the victory:"Fran is a quality player. He comes from a very good school (Barcelona).

"I kept him because I felt he had the quality to break through, but when you look at all the players who did not play, of course the competition for players is very difficult.

"Fran came to us at a very young age, but our school is in line with the way he was educated. He suits perfectly the way we want to play football.

"It is always difficult to convince people we do not need players, but when you see them tonight, you understand why.

"We see them every day in training and have so much quality with our young players that we are not specially out on the market.

"Fran is 19, Aaron Ramsey and Craig Eastmond still only 18. To play in a game at that level, they deserve a lot of credit."

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