With the squad we ended up with on Thursday night, we don’t seem to have any established stars, but we do have some outstanding players in the squad.
Players like Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey to name a few.
And we also have younger players who are improving all the time like Isaac Hayden, DeAndre Yedlin and new boy Mikel Merino, who has looked a young star in the making already this season.
Mikel starred for the Spanish U21 side last week with a goal and an assist, and he could be the next big thing for Spain.
We hope he will be the next big thing for Spain – and for Newcastle.
And the good news is that he seems to love it at Newcastle, where he is being coached by Rafa Benitez – one of the very best in the business.
Mikel Merino – in Spain’s colors
The 21-year-old has been interviewed by GOAL in Spain, and we have selected some parts from that interview:
“It was a busy summer but I think that was the right decision. Newcastle made a bid for me and what a player wants is to feel loved and valued to demonstrate what he is capable of doing.”
“Newcastle gave me that.”
“The city is very nice, the team is great, the coach is one of the best there is, and I can learn a lot from him, so in the end it’s a place where I can learn a lot.”
“I wanted Rafa to be at Newcastle and it struck me that he trusted me. He is one of the best and I can learn a lot from him. He’s very meticulous, and takes everything into account.”
“He knows a lot about football and it’s something that comes in handy when you’re young and you’re still learning.”
“Little by little I’m getting physically ready for it. I’m not 100% yet but over time I’ll catch up with the level. And for now I am adapting to the speed and pace of the Premier League.”
“I’m starting to feel like a footballer again. I have been able to play in this season start and that is very important. I am happy.”
“The game against West Ham was good and proved that I can stand the 90 minutes. I was comfortable in the field and my teammates helped a lot.”
“Also the fact of having Spanish teammates makes the coexistence is even better.” “I really enjoyed it the other day and hopefully it stays that way.”
“People here are always 100% with the team. Always. I have been lucky because in all the clubs where I have played the fans were great – it was the same in Osasuna.”
“In Newcastle they are very united. It’s crazy what they do for the team and the players, really.”
Merino is on a season long loan deal at Newcastle and we have an option to buy him from Borrusia Dortmund for around £6M next year.
He seems worth every penny of that fee from what we’ve already seen of him.
The youngster also seems to have an excellent temperament and attitude – and all he wants to do is to improve as a footballer at Newcastle.
It will be interesting to see next summer if Rafa does leave Newcastle, whether Mikel elects to stay.
What do you think?