Newcastle United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much hoping their side make serious additions to the first team at St James’ Park as they seek to improve upon their tenth place finish in the Premier League.
Rafa Benitez’s men deserve huge credit for securing a top half finish upon their return to the top-flight, having 12 months ago won promotion from the Championship. But for a club as big as Newcastle, our resident Magpies fans are hoping for even better next time round, but are well aware that further additions are needed over the summer if they are to indeed improve upon this term’s finish, and possibly challenge for the European spots next time round.
Yet there is one man who could be on his way out of St James’ Park this summer, namely Mikel Merino, as recent reports suggest that Real Betis are keen on luring the Spaniard back to his homeland.
And while the £9 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) hasn’t always been a regular for the Magpies this season, they simply must do all they can to keep the 21-year-old in the North East beyond the summer deadline.
Ultimately, it didn’t take Newcastle long to fall in love with Merino following his loan move from Borussia Dortmund last summer, what with it taking a matter of months for Benitez’s side to turn that temporary spell into a permanent one.
And that was because the Spain Under-21 international produced several impressive displays in the heart of Benitez’s midfield to help the Magpies make a solid start to life back in the Premier League, including netting the winner against Crystal Palace back in October.
However, Merino then suffered a back problem and, arguably, hasn’t really looked the same player ever since, although that is in part down to the fine form of the other Newcastle central midfielders, who simply haven’t afforded him the game time to get back into the rhythm he so evidently had in the first few months of the season.
The 21-year-old started just two Premier League games in 2018 such was the great form of Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, and indeed Mo Diame, the latter of whom particularly impressed given his struggles prior to Christmas.
And while he may well appear to be low down the pecking order, at just 21 years of age, it’s clear that Merino has a bright future ahead of him, with it evident that he possesses genuine midfield talent – the sort that can take Newcastle forward.
Having wasted no time in sealing his move permanently, the Magpies were clearly impressed with Merino, and while things have been tricky since injury, he still has plenty to offer at St James’ Park, both next season and in the many years after that.
Thus, the North Easy heavyweights really must do all they can to convince the 21-year-old to remain at the club this summer.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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