After completing a £10m move to Real Sociedad this afternoon, former midfielder Mikel Merino has thanked the ‘toon family’ for an experience he will ‘never forget’ at Newcastle United – but this has not gone down too well with several NUFC fans.
It’s the done thing for players to post ‘goodbyes’ on social media these days, but quite a few fans aren’t all that impressed with this one – and I can see why.
The cheap release clause he insisted on before signing (just £10m) and his unwillingness to fight for his place when the going got tough is disappointing, making us wonder if his heart was ever really in it at NUFC. Were we just a stepping stone after all?
Here’s what he’s posted on his personal Instagram account and some responses from NUFC fans as a result:
“Thank you very much for this amazing year to all the toon family.
“Massive experience that I’ll never forget.
“Thanks to the outstanding fans, who made me feel at home.
“All the best for the future and Howay the lads!”
Merino always came across well, but his words haven’t always matched his actions – and that’s a tough one to take for us fans.
It’s been a strange old year for Merino. He looked like an incredible signing upon his arrival and has undoubted talent, but something wasn’t quite right with him him after a few reoccurring injuries and a subsequent dip in form.
His head had clearly been turned, with him being linked with a move back to Spain more than he was playing minutes on the pitch during 2018.
A move felt inevitable and it’s now been confirmed, with him signing a five-year deal with mid-table La Liga side Real Sociedad.