Newcastle fans have been really impressed with new boy Mikel Merino who has played excellently for us this season after initially signing on loan from Borussia Dortmund and then making the move permanent for around £7M a few weeks ago.
So it was surprising to realize last season at Borussia Dortmund Mikel only appeared 11 times for the Bundesliga club.
When Mikel came here in August, he said he didn’t have the confidence of then Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, who left the club after last season and may now be a candidate for the vacant Everton job.
Thomas Tuchel – former Borussia Dortmund manager
Jurgen Koers is a reporter for the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper in Dortmund, and he has commented on the new Newcastle star:
“Dortmund are known for signing young and talented players and Merino’s background in Spain and with Spain’s U21s was promising, but it was interesting that he signed very early.”
“I am not sure if the club’s hierarchy and manager Thomas Tuchel had the same opinion of him.”
“Tuchel was never satisfied with Merino’s development and performances, he is a very demanding manager and Merino wasn’t too self-confident in the beginning, so they missed each other.”
“It was difficult for him, in central defensive midfield, German international Julian Weigl didn’t miss games.”
“He was Tuchel’s number one. Nuri Sahin, a Dortmund hero and Turkish international, was number two. So Tuchel insisted Merino should become a central defender.”
“Tuchel said he needed him when blocking any loan move in January 2017, which he did not, so he lost another six months.”
The Spanish U21 International was said to have jumped at the chance to join Newcastle during the summer, and Rafa told him how he would use him in the team and improve him as a player.
Rafa rates the 21-year-old and thinks he can become a full Spanish International in future years.
As a manager, you usually get what you expect from people, and Mikel has quickly become one of the stars at Newcastle and looks to have an excellent future on Tyneside.
Mikel was a terrific signing in the summer by Rafa and let’s hope he is fit to play at home on Saturday against Bournemouth, although it doesn’t look too good at the moment.