We all wanted some big name additions this summer but it looks like the capture of Merino will be our best piece of business. He has adapted seamlessly to the Premier League and is already becoming a key part of our style of play and potential success this season. Maybe it’s the legendary Newcastle 23 shirt rubbing off on him…
Style of play
I really enjoy watching Merino play. He joined us with a reputation as a classy ball playing deep lying playmaker with a typical Spanish style, centred on ball retention and excellent vision. He has showed these qualities of course, but it is ability to also break up play, low centre of gravity and awareness of English football so soon that has really impressed. There is a purpose to his play and his ability to pick a pass adds a new dimension to our game. Being left footed also gives us a nice balance in the middle of the park.
— John (@jbxnufc) August 27, 2017
He seems to be getting better with each game and this has culminated with him being awarded the Newcastle player of the month award for August. It may have been frustrating at the time but the Shelvey sending off may have been a blessing as it gave Merino the chance to come into the side and flourish. It will be interesting to see if Rafa plays them together this season.
Already a fans favourite
Newcastle fans are already taking to Merino, with his own chant already appearing. He has also conducted some grounded and level headed interviews this week too, including stating how grateful he is for the opportunity Newcastle have given him. I have no doubt it was the influence of his countrymen Rafa Bentiez that persuaded him to come to Tyneside but, now he is here, a real rapport with the fans appears to be blossoming too.
Merino has been superb ever since he came on a sub for his debut against Spurs during the opening day. I even thought he showed real promise against Huddersfield despite the idiotic comments of ex- Toon failure Souness for Mooy’s winner. However, he has really came into his own the last two matches and has been integral in us picking up six points. A great stat was released from Squawka football showing his impact already:
Mikel Merino for Newcastle in the Premier League:
Most passes (150)
Most tackles won (8)
Most interceptions (7)
Most take-ons (6)
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 14, 2017
Is he here for the long term?
It is widely reported that Merino is on a season long loan deal from Dortmund which costs us £2m as a loan fee and if he plays more than 20 games, it automatically become permanent for a further £6.7m. Under £9m for such a talented 21 year old is an absolute steal in today’s market, where the likes of Sam Clucas are going for £16m.
He looks the real deal and I am sure Rafa will be trying to get him to 20 appearances as soon as possible. Once made permanent, it would mean he either stays for the long term and we have a fantastic player or we can charge potential suitors an extortionate fee.
What have you made of Merino’s performances so far?