Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot has today revealed his opinion that Magpies midfielder Mikel Merino will soon draw interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Merino only arrived at St. James’ Park from Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund this summer, but has already attracted admiring glances due to his stellar performances.
The 21-year-old Spanish youth international joined Dortmund from La Liga outfit Osasuna in 2016, having played an impressive role for Los Rojillos despite his tender years.
A versatile player who is equally adept in either central defence or a deep-lying midfield position, Merino has been likened to fellow Osasuna youth product Javi Martinez, now of Bayern Munich.
Despite standing at almost 6ft 3inches tall, the youngster is a master on the ball, and has long been lauded for both his intelligence and ability to keep hold of possession.
The transition to the intensity of the Premier League is one that Merino has taken very much in his stride, with the Spaniard having started 6 of his side’s 9 league outings to this point, coming off the bench in the other 3.
In addition, he netted the Magpies’ winner during their clash with Crystal Palace at the weekend, helping Rafael Benitez’s men to an impressive 7th place in the Premier League table in the process.
Soon-to-be interested parties
Speaking in an interview with the Independent today, Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot was questioned on his teammate’s talents, with the shot-stopper quick to suggest that La Liga’s finest will soon be coming knocking for the youngster.
‘Yes, I certainly see him in a bracket where clubs like that (Barcelona and Real Madrid) come into it, considering his age. It’s only a matter of time before the very top clubs come looking at him, but we want to be a top club, too.’
‘There’s no reason why he can’t go on to play at the very top.’
‘We want him to stay here, we don’t want to see any of our top players up for sale again. That is the mentality now. We bring them through, the manager is here. He’s a fantastic signing from the manager and the scouting department and hopefully we’ll just see him develop as a player and he fulfils all that potential at Newcastle.’
‘Micky has come on and done brilliantly, and it’s great because it shows in every position you’ve got to perform. It’s brilliant news he’s signed permanently, great for the club that such a talented young player has committed himself.’