Paul Merson is a former English professional footballer and manager, turned football television pundit. He played in the Premier League for Arsenal, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa, as well as appearing in the Football League for Brentford and Portsmouth. He made his debut for the Gunners on 22 November 1986 against Manchester City, by the 1988 - 89 season he was a regular on the right wing. Merson scored ten times that season, made his debut for the England U21 side, and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year.
With Arsenal, Merson bagged another league championship in 1991, both the FA Cup and League Cup in 1993 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994. He also made his debut for the full England side, in a friendly against Germany on 11 September 1991. In a somewhat surprising move, at the end of the 1996 - 97 Premiership campaign, in which Arsenal finished third, Merson was sold to relegated Middlesbrough in a £4.5million deal. In 1998 Merson signed for Aston Villa where he played over a hundred games for the Midlands club.