Mikel Merino was confirmed as a permanent signing on Friday morning.

Borussia Dortmund revealing that the player had triggered a permanent move to Newcastle after making the required number of appearances, which changed it from the original loan arrangement.

Rafa Benitez even went out of his way to make a statement via his own personal website (see below), expressing his satisfaction with the announcement.

Friday lunchtime has now seen Mikel Merino give his own press conference, meeting the media ahead of Sunday’s game at Southampton:

“When I signed on loan, I was thinking only about helping the team and improving myself. If I did well, the contract would come.

“The way the team has been with me, the way the fans have been with me… I like the city and the people here. It’s my new home.

“Rafa is an important part of the process. The things that he can impart to me. I’m just happy to be here and that he is with us.

 “If you are in a huge club, you want to be part of it. It’s not just the name but all the things the club has done.

“It is a good place to live. The people treat everyone with respect. It’s not the weather for a Spanish guy but I’m happy here!”

“I want to say thank you for all the love the fans have shown to me. It makes me feel really good.”

Rafa Benitez statement via his own personal website earlier today (13 October 2017):

“We today have the pleasure of officially announcing the excellent news that Mikel Merino has become a Newcastle United FC player on a permanent basis.

“After initially joining the club on loan, he has now made his move into a permanent one.

“I must say that since becoming a member of our squad, he has worked fantastically well, has produced some very good performances and has settled in straight away to the squad, the club and the city itself.

“In addition to his quality on the ball, he’s a player who goes about his work with great enthusiasm, which will be a key factor when it comes to his short, medium and long-term future.

“I think that he’s a good professional and from the very beginning he’s made a real impression amongst our supporters.

“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.”

  • Patrick Church

    Great POSITIVE article Mag, I’ve followed (and bought) you guys since issue 1 (I’ve not missed a home match since 1985) and I’ve got to be honest, recently you’ve denigrated yourselves into a place for moaning, whinging and negativity which we as Geordies come to expect from the southern press but not from our own.

    OK, we all think Ashley has shafted us as fans, and we’ve suffered 2 ‘recent’ relegations but c’mon – lets have more of this type of article – whoever is editing has clearly forgotten the humorous element that The Mag used to pride itself on (you were, after all, much vaunted by the infant Soccer AM as being one of the very best for irreverent commentary on current football)

    ED, why not try a few weeks of positive articles only (like this one) and dispense with the cheap and all too easy jibes – FFS we aren’t we so much better than the Sky Pundits, Southern Press, Mackems ?? sure, it doesn’t paint over the fact that we know we would love to be stronger on the pitch but you have a responsibility to portray the consensus of optimism and not be always taking the easy and cheap option of just posting negativity.

    • Grahame Johnson

      Like trolls do they wait under the bridge then pop up and say I told you so or I knew that would happen, alas if you can not buy into all that Newcastle are at the moment and enjoy it you lose out, walking up to the ground v Liverpool l knew the pride and passion off the field would be matched on it and that makes me a proud mag

      • X,WHY,Y MAN.

        I’m all for positivity but aren’t you are doing the exact thing that you accuse others of doing ?
        Your moniker is not one that is a regular on here so if your popping up now just to basically have well…a pop, Then you are no different to the people you chastise !

    • Wor Lass

      Good stuff, mate!

  • Wor Monga

    …You could tell at first glance this lad is a quality footballer with or without the ball, and now we know that he really appreciates what we can give him here, and also what he can achieve in his career with the attitude that he obviously has …

    …you’ll do for me, Mikel, and Tyneside…nee problem!!!

    • Kneebotherm8

      We could do with 3 or 4 more like him,just hope he’s here for the next 5 years along with Rafa.

      • Jimmy_toons

        Unfortunately, history tells us something different. Merino is a lovely footballer, he rarely gives the ball away, is strong and is confident, thank you Rafa for identifying such a talent. Now he’s ours permanently, it means we can sell him and under the current owner this is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

        • Munich Mag

          When Rafa leaves Merino wont be far behind him.

  • joppadoni

    Some players just have that balance about them, you know they could become world class and he has it.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Thanks to Mike Ashley or Charnley who ever it was to take our spend up to fifty million for this Summers window really great. The fact we got a lot of money in for three players who would never play for the team again makes it even better so. thanks again Mr Ashley

  • Munich Mag

    Can’t get my head round this one, BVB normally get it spot on and play pretty hard ball. Though they have probably made a profit of 5 mill on Merino, he would have fitted into the Dortmund midfield eventually. Maybe they all got caught up in the palava mit Tuchel, and the revolt which took place ? Brilliant signing for the toon, is the lad really only 21 !!