Mikel Merino was signed by Rafa Benitez upon Newcastle’s promotion to the Premier League in 2017, but his departure a year later has led one fan to question why he was let go.
Supporters have responded with a variety of reasons, but the majority point to the fact that his release clause was activated by Real Sociedad and there was little that could be done to stop him from leaving once his mind was made up.
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It is understandable why he left considering he was offered a return to his native Spain, particuarly as he never really nailed down a first-team place for the Magpies, often being left out in favour of Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame.
Despite that, many fans enjoyed what they saw from the 23-year-old and are disappointed his stint in the north-east was cut short, though with youngsters like the Longstaff brothers coming through currently they may not ponder his departure for too long as it looks to be one of their strongest areas on the pitch under Steve Bruce right now.
Here are some of the reactions discussing the reasons behind Merino’s exit from the club.
Rafa Benitez didn’t want to lose him Charnley let Merino have a cheap release clause in his contract so we had to sell him once the release clause was met = Ashley/Charnley fault.
One of Lee Charnley’s biggest mistakes.
— Rafa Facts (@FactsRafa) November 17, 2019
Release clause , couldnt do owt about it plus he wanted to leave anyway
— lewis cockburn (@_lewisnufc_) November 17, 2019
He wanted to leave, nothing anyone could do about it
— Peter Monaghan (@petermonaghan39) November 18, 2019
Because he wanted to go
— Carlos (@Mecky231) November 17, 2019
Think at the time you had Diame and Shelvey in the middle who had established themselves and he wanted consistent first team football. His injury in the middle of the season allowed Diame to get a chance and he took it. I would’ve loved him to stay thought he had something.
— Mark Murphy (@mark_murphy890) November 17, 2019
I think he was home sick. He was one of the best players I’ve seen play for Newcastle. So comfortable on the ball
— Fred Pearson (@fredpearson_) November 17, 2019
He couldnt handle having to fight for his place
— Dodds (@doddsy0486) November 17, 2019
Wasn’t good enough for the Prem and it showed
— Dev (@SDevannyNUFC) November 17, 2019