One game after scoring on league debut, ex-Arsenal Fran Merida is sent off after 15 minutes

The Spaniard saw his marching orders playing for Atletico Paranaense in the Copa do Brasil.

Fran Merida was once considered one of the future stars of the Arsenal youth team, a man to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas as a technical Spanish superstar in the heart of the Gunners midfield.

But after he rushed his career in a move to Atletico Madrid his career began to plummet. He struggled just as much, if not more, for first-team football in his homeland than he did in North London.

He ended up at Hercules, but left there after he lost his place in the team for a wild challenge.

So he did the unexpected, he moved to Brazil!

The Spaniard became one of a few European players to make the switch to the Brazilian football system by signing on at Atletico Paranaense.

But it took him nine months to prove himself worthy of a place in the first-team, which came a week ago against Flamengo.

Arsenal's former midfielder in aggressive blitz - Two red's in nine games

And he only went and scored didn’t he! Up against Andre Santos' side, who was on the bench, he inspired a comeback from 2-0 down scoring his club's first in a 4-2 win.

But it seems he has taken a leaf out of Denilson, who has found himself on the wrong side of the referee one too many times this season, as this week he has been getting sent off instead.

He came into the cup quarter-final with Internacional with 11 minutes left, and his team 1-0 up.

When he left it was after a second bookable offence after going through the back of Willians - four minutes into stoppage time.

Now it gives his manager a selection headache, as suspensions pile up on injuries. Joao Paulo was sent off in the same game - while another former Arsenal player Pedro Botelho is now also suspended.

There must be something about Brazil that just riles up ex-Arsenal players.

Watch out the World Cup in 2014!

image: © wonker

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