Mikel Merino has only gone from strength to strength since he departed Newcastle for Real Sociedad in summer of 2018.
Not only was he named in a La Liga ‘Teams of the Season’ for 2019/20 and handed a lucrative new deal by the club – which features a €70m release clause – the midfielder has just been included in the senior Spain squad for the first time today.
As you can see below, he’ll now be involved in their upcoming friendlies and competing for a starting slot alongside star men Sergio Busquets and Thiago Alcantara:
I, like many other fans will look back and think what might’ve been for Merino on Tyneside.
He clearly had brilliant technical ability, could control the tempo of the game and even chipped in with the odd goal, meaning Mags were ecstatic to see his loan move become permanent in January 2018 after just 7 appearances.
Sadly, Merino quickly became unsettled on Tyneside and the club were powerless when Sociedad activated his release clause – believed to be around €12 million (£10.5m).
A few years on, not only is he set for the Spain national side, the midfielder will now get to play alongside new signing David Silva at Sociedad, which will only enhance his game as he learns from the Manchester City legend.
There is no doubt that Merino possesses the quality to play at the highest level, and will hope to take his career to the next stage by appearing for Spain in their upcoming friendlies.
We can only dream of seeing the future international in a black and white shirt once again – with his sky high release clause at Sociedad suggesting it’ll take huge money to prise him away from the Spaniards!