Former England and Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has been given the go-ahead to play for Welsh League Caerau.
The Maesteg club have officially signed the 49-year-old Merson and he will make his debut against Pontyclun on Wednesday, October 18.
“Paul is a great lad, a superstar and a gentleman, and he has joined Caerau as a player and an ambassador,” said club secretary Dai Hooper.
“His international clearance has been granted and Paul is available to play for us against Pontyclun.”
Caerau travel to play Neuadd Wen in a Welsh Division Three fixture this Saturday, but Merson is not available because of his work commitments as a television pundit.
But he is ready to make his debut in the fourth tier of Welsh football when Pontyclun visit.
Hooper got to know Merson at a function several years ago and says: “I texted him about the rearranged fixture against Pontyclun and he said ‘I can make that.
“We are hoping Paul makes a number of appearances for us.”
Merson scored during an appearance for Mid Wales club Welshpool Town in 2012, six years after ending his playing career.
Merson played for Arsenal, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa, while he earned 21 England caps.
When he was asked about Merson’s match fitness, Hooper said: “He’s looking okay on the box (television)”.
Caerau are 13th in Welsh League Division Three after one win and four defeats in 2017-18. Pontyclun are two places above them.
It’s 11 years since Merson retired from professional football, but he’s ready and willing to turn out for Caerau in Maesteg next Wednesday.