Friday, September 29, 2023

Spanish Club Planning A Swoop For 21 Y/O Newcastle United Ace: Why Benitez Should Not Let Him Leave!

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Athletic Bilbao are plotting a move for Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino in the summer. According to recent reports, the La Liga outfit are ready to make a move for the Spaniard’s signature after he recently disclosed his desire to make a switch to the San Mamés Stadium.

The 21-year-old midfielder initially signed for the Magpies last summer from Borussia Dortmund on a season-long loan deal which Newcastle chose to turn into a permanent move in October last year. However, some sources have recently claimed that the Spanish youngster has found life hard at Tyneside. He has been a sporadic feature under Rafael Benitez in the Newcastle first-team during the course of this campaign. It is now being reported that Merino has told his manager Rafa Benitez about his desire to depart the club in favour of a switch to the Basque region.

Bilbao are also keen on acquiring his services this summer but only time will tell whether they are successful in convincing the Premier League side to part ways with their prized asset.

The Magpies are currently occupying the 12th position in the Premier League table with a tally of 35 points in 31 league matches. Rafael Benitez’s team are out of relegation trouble for the time being and find themselves seven points above the relegation zone. They are in dire need to bring in some new players during the summer transfer window which will help them in their quest to push on and improve their league performance in the new campaign.

The departure of Merino in the summer could deplete their squad depth ahead of the new season so the Tyneside outfit should do all they can to convince him to stay. However, they can also use the money generated from his sale to bring in a suitable midfield who can cut the mustard at the St. James Park on a consistent basis next season. Merino is highly versatile and can operate in a number of different positions across the pitch. He primarily plays as a central defender but can also be deployed in central defence which makes him an ideal asset for the Magpies.

Read more: Newcastle United Ready To Hang On To Spanish Youngster: Is He Crucial To Rafa’s Plans?

At 21, he still has his peak years ahead of him which Newcastle could look to capitalise on in the coming years. It remains to be seen what lies ahead in the future of Merino and whether Bilbao are able to convince Newcastle to sell him in the summer transfer period.

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