Rafa Benitez was upbeat at his press conference and interviews yesterday afternoon.
One very positive thing was that Mikel Merino signed a new five year permanent deal for the club after playing only 7 first team games for Newcastle on loan from Borussia Dortmund.
That was a bit of a surprise that it had come so early, but Rafa had said a couple of weeks ago it would not be difficult to sign Merino permanently.
It’s great that we got the 21-year-old signed up before other clubs realize just how good this lad is – he could be destined for greatness at Newcastle.
And we had only just signed up Jamaal Lascelles to a new six-year deal, so Rafa is signing up his best young players to long-term contracts to keep them at Newcastle.
New permanent signing – Mikel Merino
Rafa believes things are positive at Newcastle as he had this to say yesterday as reported in the Chronicle:
“There’s been a lot of good news, and that’s good for the club.”
“I want to be fair with all of them. Merino’s been really well since the beginning. The fans they love him. He was playing well, and he was OK.”
“Also Jamaal, when we talk about a center-back, an English center-back, a young center-back, a captain of the team and still very young, you’re talking about a player who has the potential.”
“I think he’s learning about his job, on the pitch, and off the pitch, so he has the potential.”
“He can become much better because he’s keen to learn. He wants to improve.”
We were disappointed at the summer transfer window, but Merino has been a pleasant surprise since he arrived.
We didn’t know too much about the youngster, but Rafa seems to have signed an excellent young player who will only get better at Newcastle.
And things will be even more positive for the club if we can beat Southampton at St. Mary’s tomorrow, and about half of our fans think we can do just that.