Date: 3rd September 2017 at 6:19pm
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OPINION

Mikel Merino has revealed that he could move permanently to Newcastle at the end of his season-long loan spell from Borussia Dortmund.

The Chronicle claims midfielder Merino, 21, joined the Toon on loan for a fee of £1million with a fee of £6million enough to sign him permanently at the end of his temporary spell at St. James’ Park.

Merino must make 20 competitive appearances in order for the Magpies to strike such a deal, and has already made three by featuring in all of the Toon’s Premier League outings against Tottenham, Huddersfield and West Ham.

Speaking to the Chronicle, the seven-time Spain Under-21 international refused to rule out a move to Tyneside on a permanent basis when his loan ends at the end of the season.

“Well, it’s a loan with a buyout option for Newcastle. We’ll see how the season progresses and how it all goes,” Merino said.

“At the moment, what I am thinking is to improve and grow individually as a footballer, because I still have a lot of room to grow. That’s what I’m up to now.”

Merino starred in Newcastle’s latest result, which saw the Toon smash West Ham 3-0 in the north east as Joselu, Ciaran Clark and Aleksander Mitrovic all found the back of the net.

The former Osasuna ace was the architect of Newcastle’s first goal, splitting the defence to find Christian Atsu who squared to fellow new signing Joselu to tap home.

His fine form continued as Merino found the back of the net in Spain Under-21’s 3-0 win over Italy’s youth side, opening the deadlock by nutmegging a defender and finishing coolly past Simone Scuffet.

OPINION

If Merino can continue the kind of form that has already endeared him to the St. James’ Park faithful, then he must be signed up the moment he reaches 20 appearances as he looks to be an inspired signing by Rafa Benitez. The midfielder possesses all the kind of abilities required to shine in the Toon side, showing an array of intricate passing, stamina and pace in the middle of the park as well as showing quality in both defence an attack. At £6million, Merino is a bargain with the majority of his career still intact and luring him permanently to Tyneside would be one of the best signings of Benitez’s managerial career.