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Paul Merson for Fulham

last updated Thursday 22nd June 2000, 8:30 AM

Paul Merson has been approached by Fulham about a move back to London.

Paul MersonOwner Mohammed Al Fayed and manager Jean Tigana see Merson as the player to win promotion to the Premiership for the west London club. Fulham's interest has been known for some time and a £3M fee was agreed.

This has prompted Villa to search for replacements, failing in bids to land Jordi Cruyff and David Ginola. This is the last move in Merson "I'm leaving - I'm Staying - I'm leaving" summer saga.

Paul Charles Merson
Club: Aston Villa
Date of Birth: 20 March 1968
Birthplace: Harlesden
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 13.2
Club Honours: Division One '89, '91; League Cup '93; FA Cup '93; Cup Winners Cup '94
International Honours: England: 21; B International-4; U21-4; Yth
Transfers: Arsenal (From apprentice on 1/12/85) Football and Premier League 289+38/78 League Cup 38+2/9 FA Cup 28+3/4 Others 27+2/7
Brentford (Loaned on 22/1/87) Football League 6+1 Others 1+1
Middlesbrough (£4,500,000 + on 15/7/97) Football and Premier League 48/12 League Cup 7/3 FA Cup 3/1
Aston Villa (£6,750,000 on 10/9/98) Premier League 21+5/5 FA Cup 1

After seemingly resurrecting his career, and enjoying a World Cup squad place with England in France '98, Paul's return to Teesside took a turn for the worse as far as Middlesbrough were concerned when, having played in just three Premiership matches, and taking the "Man of the Match" award in two of them, he requested a move. Following that, he committed himself to Aston Villa for four years in mid September, scored on his debut at home to Wimbledon, and quickly proved to be an inspirational player among what was a young side. Predominantly playing in an attacking midfield role, behind the front two, he was just as comfortable in the out-and-out striker role, his versatility there for all to see. Selected for England against the Czech Republic and scoring, following the game it became apparent that he was carrying a back injury and, having come off at half time at Nottingham Forest, he was advised by a specialist that with damage to soft tissues rather than the disc only rest would cure the problem. After missing eight games, he came back with a bang in mid January, coming off the bench to score at home against Everton, and proceeded to have his best spell at the club, before the arrival of Steve Stone in March saw a change to the playing formation, which resulted in him spending more time on the subs' bench than on the pitch. Paul generally has to make do with a place on the Aston Villa bench this season. With half of the season gone the former England international has started just nine games, scoring just once. When coming on as a substitute he has often lifted the side but generally he has been disapointed not to have featured more.

Source Heroes & Villains Fanzine of Aston
Since 1998
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