Mikel Merino is finding it difficult in the second half of the season to get a starting position in the Newcastle side.
That’s due to the excellent form this year of both Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame.
But Mikel will be improving all the time under the guidance of fellow Spaniard Rafa Benitez.
And Mikel was unlucky to get a back injury last October which slowed his progress in the first team.
But this lad still has what it takes to become a good player at Newcastle, and we expect great things from him next season.
Mikel Merino – scoring the winner against Crystal Palace last October
He’s off at the moment with the Spanish U21 squad, and he has talked to the Chronicle today about the ambitions and dreams he has in football:
“The dream is to play in a World Cup or the Euros with Spain.”
“That’s the dream for anybody in the U21s or U18s or the categories below.”
“It’s the dream and the hope for me too.” “And I hope one day I am the one to be there.”
“I know it’s going to be really difficult because it’s only the best of the best get there in the Spanish national team because it’s one of the best teams in the world.”
“I hope that one day that if things go well and I am at the right level I will be there.”
“It would be great if that Spanish cap comes when I am a Newcastle United player.”
“I know I am at a great club and Newcastle is a great place too.” “This is a great scenario to show everybody what I can do.”
“If I am able to play for Newcastle and Spain at senior level that will be great.”
“I am always pleased and really proud to be called up to the national team.”
“It’s an honor for me to represent the country at U21 level.
“Of course, joining up with my friends and playing that level of football that I enjoy and love means a lot to me.”
There’s no reason if Mikel keeps his head down and is coached by Rafa Benitez for a few years that he cannot fulfill those dreams, and at Newcastle too.
But being under Rafa Benitez could be the key to achieving that.
Mikel has made 23 appearances this season for the first team with 15 starts; he’s scored one goal and has one assist so far.
He is also an excellent professional and a smashing lad.
What do you think?