It’s not a secret that one of the main reasons Mikel Merino arrived at Newcastle United was because of Rafa Benitez, a world-class Spanish manager, being at the club.
Mikel thought he could learn a lot from the former manager of Valencia, Liverpool, and Napoli and he’ s likely to be right there.
Mikel has been off during the international break starring for the Spanish U21 side, and he could well improve very quickly in the Premier League under Rafa Benitez.
We hope that’s the case.
Mikel Merino – a rising young star
While in Spain, Mikel has spoken to Marca and had this to say about Benitez:
“The club wanted to have me and Benitez counted on me. A player wants to go where he really feels loved.”
“Rafa is one of the main reasons for which I am here, and, above all, because the Premier is a very powerful league and in which I want to grow as a footballer.”
“He tells me that in the middle of the pitch you have to play one or two touches and see where everyone is placed, so I know they are going to come very close to me, that you do not have time to think, that you have to play very fast.”
“And he’s right. I have only three games and can confirm that it is another pace.” “In everything he says, one has to listen to him because he knows what he is talking about.”
“It will do me good.”
“It’s what we have to do because we don’t have the technical ability of Manchester City, United, or the top of the Premier.”
“Therefore, we must have confidence in our teammates, work all as one and be a family.”
There’s the policy Rafa seems to be telling his players for the coming season.
Hopefully, Newcastle will be able to get in two or three players in January to help us out – even if they are players coming in on loan.
We are still hoping we can finish around mid-table in the league and then push on from there next summer.