Newcastle United supporters have been somewhat disappointed in the Transfer Tavern in the last couple of days after seeing their side go down 2-1 at Watford on Saturday to suffer a third straight Premier League defeat.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their encounter with the Hertfordshire-based club having lost to both West Brom and Everton in their previous league outings, results which ended their impressive and ultimately crucial four-match winning streak. And the North East heavyweights couldn’t return to winning ways on Saturday either as first half goals from Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray set the Hornets on their way to all three points, with Ayoze Perez’s second half response for Newcastle not enough to inspire a comeback.
Thus, there have been many frustrated Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping their team can bounce back and get a positive result from their trip to Wembley this evening to face Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking their club with a summer move for Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen.
And while news of a possible move for the Welshman is likely to be well-received by Newcastle fans, it could spell seriously bad news for £9 million-rated Magpies ace Mikel Merino (as per Transfermarkt), and may in fact end his short stint in the North East.
Ultimately, despite making a fine start to life at the club, thus earning himself a permanent deal just a few months into his loan spell, the last few months have been particularly testing for the 21-year-old, as he has lost his place in Benitez’s starting eleven.
Since sustaining a back injury all the way back in October, the Spaniard has mustered just eight Premier League appearances for the Magpies, with the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, and Mo Diame all often getting the nod ahead of the former Borussia Dortmund star.
Yes, some of that has been down to the fine form of the aforementioned trio, not least Diame who has improved immeasurably since the turn of the year, but it has also been down to Merino’s own struggles with form, with the 21-year-old having looked a shadow of the player that started out brilliantly back in August.
And if Benitez does indeed strike a deal to bring Allen, another proven Premier League midfielder, to the club this summer, that will surely only serve to push Merino even further down the pecking order, and perhaps out of the club altogether.
Athletic Bilbao have reportedly expressed an interest in the 21-year-old in recent times to further throw his future into even greater doubt, and were Allen to indeed make the move from Staffordshire during the summer, time could already be up on Merino’s short spell at Newcastle.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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