Newcastle United boss Benitez hails quality of Merino after securing Spaniard on permanent deal

Friday has been a good day for everyone associated with Newcastle United due to some big transfer news.

The North-East outfit have announced that Mikel Merino has signed a five-year contract at St James’ Park.

The Spaniard moved to Newcastle in the summer from Borussia Dortmund on a loan agreement, with an option for a permanent stay.

In most of these deals, clubs have to wait until the end of a season to exercise a clause, but the Magpies have managed to secure Merino’s services just three months after he joined.

Manager Rafael Benitez used his official Twitter page to give his reaction to the piece of transfer business.

The Spaniard’s social media team posted a link to the former club’s official website, in which he praised the qualities of the 21-year-old midfielder.

“He’s got great belief in what he can achieve and his own ability and, given his age, he still has time to make considerable progress. The key is clearly for him to continue working as he has been doing up until now: working hard and with real intensity as he keeps on producing the performances. If he does so, I’m certain that he’ll improve and will come to enjoy his football all the more.”

Merino has featured in all seven Premier League games this season, and in six of them he was including in the starting lineup.