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.”