With a lack of games in the second half of last season and a lack of ambition being shown by NUFC, Mikel Merino pushed for a transfer from Newcastle United this summer.

Real Sociedad eventually signing the promising 22 year old after they met his £10m release clause.

Having only a fraction of outgoing sales to play with, Rafa Benitez was forced to shop for bargains.

In the end 29 year old free transfer Ki Sung-yueng arriving as a replacement for the Spaniard.

Newcastle fans are yet to see the South Korean in competitive action as he has remained on the bench for the two opening Premier League fixtures so far.

However, Real Sociedad fans got their first sighting on Saturday night of Mikel Merino.

The Spanish Under 21 international started as they faced a tough opening fixture, away at Villarreal who finished 5th last season (Real Sociedad 12th).

Merino almost had a dream debut as he struck the post in the ninth minute and then when the home side took the lead seven minutes later, it looked likely to be a poor opening day of the season.

With the former Newcastle midfielder’s help though they turned it around, William Jose scoring on 40 minutes and then Juanmi getting the winner on 71 minutes.

Mikel Merino lasted 59 minutes (he missed part of pre-season through injury) before being replaced by Zurutuza, with the Spanish media praising his contribution to the victory.

Whether or not Merino proves to be one that got away from Newcastle will be interesting to see.

  • GlasgowMag

    Great another article on how well our past players are doing to cheers us all up, wait for it Mitro and Gayle up next can’t wait!!😱😱

    • Viru leckworth

      Yes, both scored yesterday.

      • Ram Kishore

        U r gonna worry about it pal.. let’s get a grip.. Merino wanted to leave..
        Rafa didn’t want Mitro..

  • Milburn_Taylor

    even at 22 Merino knew he was going nowhere at Newcastle, in fact any player with ambition will not come here under a rancid regime & a manager that will be gone next year.

  • Mike Adam

    Rafa got this all wrong as well. But we have Slomo.

    • Ram Kishore

      What can Rafa do if the player wants to leave .. tie him up?Lol.
      He wanted to leave .. we had a good time with him last year.. lets move on

      • Mike Adam

        Oh and we have Hayden too. Both played ahead of and instead of Merino in the second half. Maybe if on the bench instead of out of the squad in favor of rubbish like Hayden he may have wanted to stay. It is called alienating a player. Rafa has done it to more than
        just Merino while in charge.

        • Ram Kishore

          Maybe Rafa did alienate.. i thought after the safety was achieved he may give Merino a full run for the next five games, maybe that’s the thing that made him decide to make a move. After Championship we should have sold Hayden.. i thought this was the time to move him especially wanted him to go after the transfer request.Colback’s situation showed Rafa was not good at helping players facilitating a move..
          Lol idk I think I miss merino in our team..He adds a lot of flair to our midfield.

          • Mike Adam

            You are so right Ram. I usually always agree with your views on things. You are a voice of reason on these chats with much insanity.

          • Ram Kishore

            I maybe be wrong many times actually .. People here are fine apart from few who class anyone who disagrees with them as trolls. There are few people who may troll here but not all are imo.. u don’t need to agree with me if I maybe wrong.. its all just a debate pal.. Btw Good morning

  • Cuh

    Everything wrong with this article.

    1. Do NOT defend Rafa for letting Merino go.
    – Merino was glad to be here. His departure had everything to do with playing time, nothing with lack of ambition. Real Sociedad is no more ambitious than Stoke city.
    – Why did Rafa allow such a low buyout clause for Merino? He was a “Rafa buy”, wasn’t he? Seems to me he never valued the player from the off. If it were Graham Carr, the backlash for fans discovering a 10m sellout on our most talented u-21 player would have been massive

    2. Do NOT pin it on Merino for wanting to leave the club. Hayden has said severally that he wants to leave, Rafa came out to say he will be kept by all means. If he wanted to keep Merino, he would have made similar efforts. But Rafa seems to like dormant, “sit-deep and throw long balls” midfielders.

    3. Merino didn’t play beyond 60 minutes, os how exactly did he help his team to the 71st minute goal? . I watched the game personally

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Comparing Sociedad & Stoke is probably the worst comment I’ve ever ever seen on here & that’s hard to choose from when you’ve got Ghost & Monkseaton

  • Scottie Chugger Dearden

    I hope there is going to be an article on how happy we are for Chris Hughton beating the Manc [email protected]$ts, well done!

    • Ram Kishore

      Haha i hope Mag doesn’t write one.It’s always fine if they come up with a chris Houghton article if it has some relevance to nufc now and then..
      But I definitely love when Mourinho whines lol.
      I loved that Klopp statement where he said he wants to make Mou smile

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Clearly didn’t watch the match as it was Funes-Mori & his diabolical defending that contributed to Sociedads win. Picking up where he left off at Everton

  • Wor Lass

    Quite a pathetic article, really. Graham clearly didn`t actually watch the game and seems to have based the whole thing on a shot hitting the woodwork. Good luck to Merino but it`ll be interesting to see how many games he`s fit enough to play in this season.

  • Spanish football is fast, more technical, and apart from playing against Atletico or Real not half as physical as the Prem.
    I wish Merino good fortunes and I hope he does great.