Another Barca youth heads to Arsenal - how have those before him fared?

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There is a rich history between Arsenal and Barcelona when it comes to transfers, with two players heading to the Emirates from Catalonia this summer.

With news of another youngster arriving at Arsenal from Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, we list the players that have already made such a move to North London, with varying degrees of success.

They are in good company, because alongside these young players, Chilean World Cup star Alexis Sanchez has also this summer joined from the La Liga giants.

Georgios Spanoudakis arrives from Barcelona as one of a long list of mainly youth players that have switched Catalonia for London. The Premier League's ability to offer contracts to youngsters earlier than their European counterparts has been just one of the reasons why Arsenal, and other clubs, have been able to snap up young talent relatively easily.

The arrival of the Gunners' new midfielder from Barca will see obvious comparisons to the likes of Cesc Fabregas - but not all of the players Arsene Wenger has brought over have made the grade.

Below we look at those that came before the German/Greek 15-year-old:

Cesc Fabregas - The first one to make the jump to Arsenal, Fabregas arrived from Spain in 2003 as one of Barcelona's most talented youngsters, and proved it too, making 3 appearances in his first season at the club, despite being just 16 years-old, thus making him the youngest ever Arsenal player and with a goal in a 5-1 win over Wolves, the youngest ever goalscorer. The next season, when he was still only 17, he made a huge 46 appearances, and that started his love affair with the Gunners. Fabregas enjoyed seven seasons at Arsenal, before leaving to return to boyhood club Barcelona in a record sale. Though his arrival at Chelsea this summer may have soured some's opinion of him - there's no accounting for the fact that Francesc Fabregas Soler was one of the most talented young players in the history of the football club, making 303 appearances, scoring 57 goals and assisting 98 others all by the age of 24.

Fran Merida - Fran Merida was the next player to arrive, again as a 16-year-old in 2007. Like Fabregas he made 3 cup appearances in his first season, but from then on the similarities ended. The second part of his first season saw him take in a loan in the Spanish second division with Real Sociedad. Though undoubtedly gifted, Merida struggled to get game time on the wing for the Gunners once he returned from Sociedad. He continued to star for the Spanish youth teams but ended up leaving for Athletico Madrid on a free transfer at the end of his Arsenal contract. His first season back in Spain saw him get a decent amount of game time, making 27 appearances for Los Rojiblancos, but it didn't last long - a loan spell with Braga in Portugal didn't do him justice and he was again a free agent. Currently with Atletico Paranaense in Brazil, after a year at Hercules from 2012-13, though he has been struggling to play and is registered with the reserves.

Jon Toral - Both Toral and Bellerin came to the Emirates in 2011, two hugely promising 16-year-olds plucked once more from La Masia. Toral actually has an English mother, so heading to England wouldn't have been as big a culture shock as it may have been for the others mentioned here. Still yet to make his first team debut despite spending three years at the club, it is likely he will see some action this season in the League Cup, especially considering Thomas Eisfeld as moved on.

Hector Bellerin - Bellerin is a little closer to the first team picture that Toral, having come on leaps and bounds since arriving in England. Converted from a right winger into a right back, the 19-year-old made his debut against West Brom in the League Cup last year, and then went out on loan at Watford for the last few months of the season, featuring 8 times. With Sagna departed, and uncertainty over Carl Jenkinson's future in Wenger's squad, Bellerin could see a fair bit more game time this year, though it is equally possible he could take a full season on loan at a Championship club.

Julio Plequezuelo - Another right back, Pleguezuelo only joined last summer, though this season is set to add more appearances at Under-21 level for the club. Still just 17-years-old, he signed his first professional contract in April, and can also play in the centre if needed. 

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