After getting promoted to the Premier League, Newcastle United have hit the right chords more often than not, to ensure that they refrain themselves from being complacent. During the summer transfer window, Rafael Benitez pulled off some masterstrokes as he signed the likes of Jacob Murphy, Florian Lejeune, Joselu and Christian Atsu to name a few.
It goes without saying that the foremost priority of Benitez would be to take his troops to a higher level so that they can keep intact their status of being a Premier League side. The scenario so far has not gone against them considering that the Magpies have collected 10 points from their first 7 games in the English top flight and are placed at the 9th spot in the league table.
One of the players who were lured to St. James’ Park during the summer was Mikel Merino, albeit on loan, from German Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.
Merino emerged through the youth ranks of CD Amigo and Osasuna and made a name for himself after plying his trade for the senior side for Osasuna. During the January transfer window of 2016, Dortmund roped him into their arsenal, but the Spaniard failed to ink his spot with them.
Merino belongs to the brand of midfield pivots, excelling at winning the ball back, jotting down stupendous tackles and interceptions and making a seamlessly brilliant transition from defensive responsibilities to attacking endeavours. Technically as well as tactically, he is astute and is a calm and composed player on the pitch. He passes the ball well and keeps creating chances for his teammates, and no wonder why he is an appealing commodity.
With the Geordies, the midfielder has really been able to unleash his potential and as a result of his commendable outings so far, the former Napoli manager has recently signed him permanently on a five-year deal. The 21-year-old has played in all of Newcastle United’s games so far in the Premier League, whilst which he has garnered 3.3 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 1.6 clearances and 0.4 block per game on an average.
The permanent signing of Merino has the ingredients to be a dazzling one for the Toon, as his stocks are indeed very highly rated and he has already started to find his feet amidst the animosity which English football offers. He is young and has the requisite calibre to become one of the finest players of the Premier League and it would be interesting to see how his career progresses from here on.