Mikel Merino

Mikel Merino Zazón (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmikel meˈɾino]; born 22 June 1996) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for La Liga club Real Sociedad and the Spain national team.

Mikel Merino
Miker Merino 2018 (cropped).jpg
Merino with Real Sociedad in 2018
Personal information
Full name Mikel Merino Zazón[1]
Date of birth (1996-06-22) 22 June 1996 (age 26)[2]
Place of birth Pamplona, Spain[2]
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Real Sociedad
Number 8
Youth career
Amigó
Osasuna
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014 Osasuna B 5 (0)
2014–2016 Osasuna 63 (5)
2016–2017 Borussia Dortmund 8 (0)
2017Newcastle United (loan) 7 (0)
2017–2018 Newcastle United 17 (1)
2018– Real Sociedad 141 (14)
International career
2014–2015 Spain U19 12 (1)
2016–2019 Spain U21 20 (4)
2021 Spain Olympic 6 (1)
2020– Spain 11 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:13, 14 January 2023 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 14 November 2021

After starting out at Osasuna, he went on to play for Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle United and Real Sociedad.

Merino represented Spain in two European Under-21 Championships, winning the 2019 edition. He made his full debut in 2020.

Club careerEdit

OsasunaEdit

Born in Pamplona, Navarre, Merino began his career with CD Amigó, later moving to CA Osasuna.[3] He made his senior debut with the reserves in the 2013–14 season, in the Tercera División.[3]

On 23 August 2014, Merino made his first competitive appearance with the first team, starting in a 2–0 home win against FC Barcelona B in the Segunda División.[4] He scored his first professional goal on 21 December, the winner in a 2–1 away victory over UD Las Palmas.[5]

Merino was definitely promoted to the main squad on 31 January 2015, being awarded the number 8 jersey.[6] He was a regular starter in his first year, helping them to narrowly avoid relegation.[7]

In the 2015–16 campaign, Merino scored four goals from 34 appearances as Osasuna finished sixth and reached the promotion play-offs.[8] In that stage's first round, he netted a brace in a 3–1 home win against Gimnàstic de Tarragona,[9] and added another goal in the second leg (3–2 victory).[10]

Borussia DortmundEdit

On 15 February 2016, Merino signed a five-year deal with Borussia Dortmund, which was made effective on 1 July.[11] His first appearance in the Bundesliga occurred on 14 October, when he played the full 90 minutes in a 1–1 home draw with Hertha BSC.[12]

Newcastle UnitedEdit

In July 2017, Merino joined Newcastle United on a season-long loan; the Premier League club agreed to a clause obligating them to sign the player permanently, based on a number of appearances.[13][14] On 13 October this was invoked, and he agreed to a five-year contract.[15]

Merino made 25 competitive appearances for the Magpies,[16] scoring once, a late header that was the only goal against Crystal Palace at St James' Park on 21 October 2017.[17] He also provided a sole assist.[16]

Real SociedadEdit

Merino returned to Spain on 12 July 2018, signing a five-year deal with Real Sociedad for an undisclosed fee[18] reported to be €12 million.[19] His first match in La Liga took place on 18 August when he played 59 minutes in a 2–1 win against hosts Villarreal CF,[20] and his first goal on 21 September won the game at SD Huesca.[21] Despite struggling initially to adapt to his new team, also dealing with some injury problems, he eventually became a starter,[22][23] scoring four times in 32 fixtures in his first season.[24]

On 7 March 2020, Merino wore the captain's armband for the first time in a 1–0 league defeat away to FC Barcelona.[25][26] In July, he renewed his contract until 2025.[27]

On 3 April 2021, Merino won his first title after playing the full 90 minutes of the 2020 Copa del Rey Final – delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – against Athletic Bilbao, assisting Portu who was brought down in the box at the hour mark; Mikel Oyarzabal converted from the spot for the only goal at the Estadio de La Cartuja, and Merino was chosen Player of the match.[28][29]

International careerEdit

Merino was part of the Spain under-19 team which won the 2015 UEFA European Championship in Greece. He scored their first goal of the tournament, opening a 3–0 win over holders Germany at the AEL FC Arena in Larissa.[30] He received his first call up to the senior side on 20 August 2020 for the initial two matches of the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League against Germany and Ukraine,[31] earning his first cap against the former on 3 September by replacing Sergio Busquets early into the second half of a 1–1 draw.[32]

Personal lifeEdit

Merino's father, Ángel, was also a footballer. His career was also associated with Osasuna, as both a player and manager.[33]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 17 January 2023[34]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Osasuna B 2013–14 Tercera División 5 0 5 0
Total 5 0 5 0
Osasuna 2014–15 Segunda División 29 1 0 0 29 1
2015–16 Segunda División 34 4 0 0 4[a] 3 38 7
Total 63 5 0 0 67 8
Borussia Dortmund 2016–17 Bundesliga 8 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
Newcastle United (loan) 2017–18 Premier League 7 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Newcastle United Premier League 17 1 1 0 0 0 18 1
Total 24 1 1 0 0 0 25 1
Real Sociedad 2018–19 La Liga 29 3 3 1 32 4
2019–20 La Liga 36 5 7[b] 1 43 6
2020–21 La Liga 26 2 1 0 8[c] 0 1[d] 0 36 2
2021–22 La Liga 34 3 3 0 6[c] 1 43 4
2022–23 La Liga 16 1 3 1 5[c] 0 24 2
Total 141 14 17 3 19 1 1 0 178 18
Career total 245 23 19 3 0 0 19 1 5 3 284 29
  1. ^ Appearance(s) in Segunda División play-offs
  2. ^ Includes appearance in 2020 Copa del Rey Final (played in 2021)
  3. ^ a b c Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
  4. ^ Appearance(s) in Supercopa de España

InternationalEdit

As of match played 14 November 2021[35]
Spain
Year Apps Goals
2020 6 0
2021 5 0
Total 11 0

HonoursEdit

Real Sociedad

Spain U19

Spain U21

Spain Olympic

Spain

Individual

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Updated squads for 2017/18 Premier League confirmed". Premier League. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Mikel Merino". Eurosport. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b Astráin, Fermín (17 March 2014). "Mikel Merino, noveno juvenil en debutar" [Mikel Merino, ninth youth player to debut]. Diario de Navarra (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  4. ^ "El equipo también responde" [The team also answer] (in Spanish). CA Osasuna. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Osasuna asalta el Gran Canaria" [Osasuna take Gran Canaria]. Marca (in Spanish). 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Mikel Merino llevará el dorsal 8 y Kenan Kodro, el 9" [Mikel Merino will have the number 8 jersey and Kenan Kodro, the 9]. Diario de Navarra (in Spanish). 31 January 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  7. ^ Arruti, Imanol (12 July 2018). "Así es Mikel Merino, el último fichaje de la Real Sociedad" [Meet Mikel Merino, Real Sociedad's last signing]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  8. ^ "Merino: "No sé si le saldré barato o caro al Borussia, me centro en jugar"" [Merino: "I don't know if Borussia will get me for a lot of money or not, I just play"]. Diario de Navarra (in Spanish). 22 May 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  9. ^ García, Gregorio (8 June 2016). "Osasuna toma ventaja, pero no sentencia" [Osasuna get the upper hand, but do not get job done]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  10. ^ García, Gregorio (11 June 2016). "Y el primer finalista es... Osasuna" [And the first finalists are... Osasuna]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Borussia Dortmund verpflichtet Mikel Merino" [Borussia Dortmund acquire Mikel Merino] (in German). Borussia Dortmund. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  12. ^ Brack, Tim (14 October 2016). "Merino überzeugt als Ballmagnet" [Merino gets job done as ball magnet] (in German). Sport1. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  13. ^ Valentine, Ben (28 July 2017). "Newcastle land Mikel Merino on loan from Borussia Dortmund". Goal. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Fix! Dortmunds Merino wechselt zu Newcastle" [Done! Dortmund's Merino moves to Newcastle] (in German). Kicker. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Mikel Merino signs for Newcastle from Borussia Dortmund in permanent deal". BBC Sport. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  16. ^ a b Navarro, Juan C. (29 July 2018). "Real Sociedad | La extraña progresión de Mikel Merino" [Real Sociedad | Mikel Merino's strange progression] (in Spanish). Fichajes. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  17. ^ Walker, Michael (21 October 2017). "Mikel Merino's late header gives Newcastle victory over Crystal Palace". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Latest news: Mikel Merino joins Real Sociedad". Newcastle United F.C. 12 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  19. ^ Vicente, Álvaro (16 July 2018). "Mikel Merino: "Si Urrutia ha dicho que no hubo interés, no soy nadie para decir lo contrario"" [Mikel Merino: "If Urrutia has said that there was no interest, I am not one to say the opposite"]. El Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  20. ^ "La Real Sociedad comienza la campaña venciendo en el Estadio de la Cerámica" [Real Sociedad start the campaign winning at the Estadio de la Cerámica] (in Spanish). La Liga. 18 August 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  21. ^ Egea, Pablo (21 September 2018). "Mikel Merino gives nine-man Real Sociedad victory away to Huesca". Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  22. ^ Vicente, Álvaro (2 October 2018). "La lesión dejará a Mikel Merino fuera durante varias semanas" [Injury will leave Mikel Merino out for several weeks]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  23. ^ Badallo, Óscar (6 February 2019). "Mikel Merino se hace titular" [Mikel Merino becomes a starter]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  24. ^ "Mikel Merino renueva con la Real Sociedad y Hugo Guillamón con el Valencia" [Mikel Merino renews with Real Sociedad and Hugo Guillamón with Valencia] (in Spanish). Cadena COPE. 22 July 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  25. ^ Hafez, Shamoon (7 March 2020). "Barcelona 1–0 Real Sociedad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  26. ^ González, Miguel (9 March 2020). "Mikel Merino: «La Copa nos está dando alas en la Liga porque nos ha cargado de moral»" [Mikel Merino: "The Cup is giving us wings in the League because it was a morale boost"]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  27. ^ ""Wherever you are happy is where you want to be"". Real Sociedad. 22 July 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  28. ^ a b Reidy, Paul (3 April 2021). "Athletic Club 0–1 Real Sociedad: result, summary, goal". Diario AS. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  29. ^ Pacheco, Jorge (6 April 2021). "Mikel Merino, el MVP de la Copa del Rey: "El tiempo me ha dado la razón con mi fichaje por la Real"" [Mikel Merino, the King's Cup MVP: "Time has proven me right for signing with Real"]. El Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  30. ^ "Slick Spain too strong for holders Germany". UEFA. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  31. ^ "OFICIAL | Lista de convocados de la Selección española para los partidos de la UEFA Nations League ante Alemania y Ucrania" [OFFICIAL | List of called-up players by the Spain national team for the UEFA Nations League matches against Germany and Ukraine] (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. 20 August 2020. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  32. ^ "Germany 1–1 Spain: Gayà saves La Roja". UEFA. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  33. ^ Velasco, Gonzalo (26 September 2014). "Merino, la nueva joya de Tajonar" [Merino, Tajonar's new gem]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  34. ^ Mikel Merino at Soccerway. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  35. ^ "Mikel Merino". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  36. ^ Lowe, Sid (3 April 2021). "Real Sociedad beat Athletic to claim Copa del Rey and Basque glory". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  37. ^ Haslam, Andrew (19 July 2015). "Spain see off Russia for seventh Under-19 crown". UEFA. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  38. ^ Begley, Emlyn (30 June 2019). "Spain U21 2–1 Germany U21". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  39. ^ "Germany U21 1–0 Spain U21". BBC Sport. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  40. ^ "Tokyo Olympics 2021 medal count updates: who has won more? Tally by country, today, 7 August". Diario AS. 7 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  41. ^ "Spain 1–2 France". UEFA. 10 October 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  42. ^ "Mikel Merino named Liga Adelante Player of the Month for June". La Liga. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.

External linksEdit