There’s been some speculation in Spain that Mikel Merino may want to leave Newcastle this summer because he now cannot get much playing time at Newcastle.
The local papers are reporting that while Mikel may be frustrated, he has no plans to leave the club this summer.
And Rafa has given the young Spanish star some excellent advice on the reality of the situation.
When you have a good team that means having (very) good players on the bench.
How a team is doing can be measured by the strength of their bench, and for Rafa, it’s all about competition for places.
Mikel Merino – must fight for his place
And that competition will only get more intense assuming Rafa stays on Tyneside, which we think he will.
Athletico Bilbao were interested in signing Merino in January, and the Basque club are likely to come back for Merino in the summer.
This is what Rafa has said about Merino’s situation:
“It’s not just the injury now, which is fine.” “He’s not playing so much because the others are doing well.”
“He has to compete and make sure he gets back in the side.”
“Always, we want to sign the best players, and, when we have the best players here, then someone has to be on the bench.”
“If you want to improve as a team, then you have to have good players on the bench.”
The competition for places next season should be really intense, and it’s going to be interesting to see how many players Rafa will bring in this summer.
Very interesting in fact.