The Toon army here in the Transfer Tavern are absolutely ecstatic to welcome Mikel Merino to the club on a permanent basis. Indeed, Merino has enjoyed a fantastic beginning to his Premier League career on Tyneside, charming fans with his complete displays alongside Jonjo Shelvey at the centre of the park.
Given the magnitude of the impression he has already made on the Toon faithful, it is no surprise to see his move become permanent, just two months into the year-long loan that was initially agreed with Borussia Dortmund.
It would be an exaggeration to describe Newcastle’s acquisition of the talented Spaniard as a marquee signing, but the quality he brings to the club will certainly boost their aspirations for the season.
The Newcastle contingent in the Tavern have enjoyed their sides recent form, which has seen them claim 11 points from their opening Premier League games, moving into 9th place in the process.
Newcastle dug deep to earn a valuable point at home against Liverpool prior to the international break, a result which underlined their credentials to compete against the top-sides in the division. Rafa Benitez’s men then followed that up with a point away at Southampton, not a bad result.
It would be foolish to make outlandish predictions based on early-season form, however, the manner in which Newcastle have begun the season suggests a top-half finish, or better, could become a realistic ambition as the season unfolds.
If Benitez wants to avoid a relegation dogfight and witness his side compete for qualification into the UEFA Europa League, he will certainly need to add an abundance of talent to his squad in January and beyond.
Benitez should do everything in his power to land these 3 players.