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Sunday 07 July 2013

On this day in 1997: Paul Merson leaves Arsenal for Boro

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall the popular Gunner joining Middlesbrough

  • Paul Merson helped Middlesbrough return to the Barclays Premier League

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day 7 July 1997 - Merson signs for Middlesbrough

Paul Merson's 13-year career at Arsenal came to an end when he was sold to Middlesbrough by Arsene Wenger in the manager's first summer in charge.

The creative winger joined Arsenal as an apprentice in 1984 and became an important part of George Graham's successful side of the late 80s and early 90s. He won the First Division title twice as well as the FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.

The fans' favourite moved to Bryan Robson's Middlesbrough in 1997 after the club had just been relegated from the Barclays Premier League. Viv Anderson, Boro's assistant manager, had played with Merson at Arsenal.

"It's a challenge for me to get Boro back into the Premiership and then win that as well. I've done everything with Arsenal so I know what's expected," said the then 29-year-old.

He scored 12 goals in 48 Championship appearances in his only season at Boro, helping the club regain their top-flight status which they retained until 2009.

Merson joined Aston Villa in 1998 and also played for Portsmouth, Walsall and Tamworth before retiring in 2006.

In all, Merson made 280 Premier League appearances, scoring 46 goals.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember the day in 1997 when Paul Merson's time at Arsenal came to an end