Newcastle United have today confirmed the signing of Mikel Merino on a permanent deal and Rafa Benitez has shared his delight on his personal website, expressing just how ‘excellent’ it is to have the Spaniard officially on board at NUFC.
Merino joined on-loan from Borussia Dortmund over the summer and has been a revelation ever since. There was an expectation he’d sign sooner rather than later, with it being said that we were ‘obligated’ to sign him permanently him after he’d made 20 appearances, however it’s a real bonus to have it done and dusted already.
He is believed to have cost the club less than £10m in total, representing a top class piece of business in this day and age.
Here’s what Benitez wrote on his personal website rafabenitez.com in reaction to Merino signing a five-year deal on Tyneside:
“We today have the pleasure of officially announcing the excellent news that Mikel Merino has become a Newcastle United FC player on a permanent basis. After initially joining the club on loan, he has now made his move into a permanent one. I must say that since becoming a member of our squad, he has worked fantastically well, has produced some very good performances and has settled in straight away to the squad, the club and the city itself. In addition to his quality on the ball, he’s a player who goes about his work with great enthusiasm, which will be a key factor when it comes to his short, medium and long-term future.
“I think that he’s a good professional and from the very beginning he’s made a real impression amongst our supporters. He’s got great belief in what he can achieve and his own ability and, given his age, he still has time to make considerable progress. The key is clearly for him to continue working as he has been doing up until now: working hard and with real intensity as he keeps on producing the performances. If he does so, I’m certain that he’ll improve and will come to enjoy his football all the more”.
He sounds delighted and has every right to be. Merino is quite possibly the exact sort of player Benitez wants at the club. He has quality and is very capable on the ball, but is just as effective out of possession, works tirelessly for the team and seems to be a very strong character who’s willing to learn and fight for the badge.