Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Monday February 19 2007
Promising Arsenal midfielder Fran Merida says he wants to be like roommate Cesc Fabregas.
The 16-year-old arrived at Arsenal under similar circumstances to his fellow Spaniard. In 2003 Arsenal snapped up Fabregas on a free as he turned 16. After much speculation Merida followed Fabregas across the waters.
Now Merida says he wants to follow Cesc the rest of the way to the first team.
"Cesc for me is like my mirror — he`s the player I want to be," Merida told Arsenal.com.
"When I go to watch the first team I`m always watching him, the way he plays and the way he passes the ball. I am only 16-years-old and to watch him and learn from him is so important. I`m going to keep working hard and, of course, one day I would love to play alongside him'
Merida also expressed his excitement at the thought of playing at the Emirates Stadium in the FA Youth Cup against Cardiff.
"For us it`s amazing," said Merida. "It`s the biggest stadium many of us have played in. I didn`t know the FA Youth Cup was so important when I came here but now here I am possibly about to play a game at Emirates Stadium.
"I don`t think it`s sunk in yet but it`s going to be a special day and hopefully there will be a lot of people there to cheer us on. I`d like the whole stadium to be full but I think we all just want to play in front as many people as possible.
"I think we`ve had very difficult games so far but we`ve done very well to overcome the challenges and that`s why we are here.
"I`m happy with how my season is going personally and I`m really enjoying living in England. Now I`d love to go and win this competition.'
I can just imagine the dread the likes of Spu*s, United and Chel$ki must feel when they imagine having to play against two Cesc's. If one Fabregas can ruin Spurs' midfield, what on earth would 2 do?
Date:Monday February 19 2007
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