Alexander Merkel, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Watford, has joined Swiss side Grasshoppers FC.

The 22-year-old midfielder made 11 appearances for the Hornets during the last campaign after signing a six-month loan deal from fellow Pozzo owned club Udinese in January.

He returned to the Little Zebras at the end of the campaign and did not join back up with the Golden Boys for pre-season. 

His move to Grasshoppers, who are in the Champions League qualifying stages, is a one-year loan.

The former Germany under-20 international joined AC Milan from Stuttgart as a teenager and made his debut at the age of 18, featuring ten times during the 2010/11 season.

Genoa bought 50 per cent of the player in 2011 and he made 16 appearances for the Serie A club before he rejoined Milan on loan.

However, he only made one outing before he had a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Merkel played for Genoa six times in the first half of 2012/2013 campaign before he signed for Udinese in January 2013.

He only made five appearances for the club however before switching to Watford a year later.