Newcastle United head coach Rafa Benitez believes new loan signing midfielder Mikel Merino can 'improve a lot' during his time at St James' Park.
The 21-year-old joins on a season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund, having recently shown up well for Spain at the European Under-21 Championships in Poland.
Merino joined Dortmund last summer from Osasuna, but found first-team opportunities limited at the Westfalenstadion, making just two starts in the Bundesliga.
However, compatriot Benitez feels that the youngster has plenty to offer and even hinted at a more permanent deal should Merino impress.
He told the club's official website: "Mikel is a midfielder with talent. He's a good size, has quality on the ball and he's very, very focused and professional. Hopefully, he's the kind of player we can improve a lot – he certainly has the mentality to get better and better.
"He comes from a top side in Dortmund and, although he did not play too much last season, he was signed as a young, talented player and to be signed by a club like that shows that he has something good.
"He has to show what he has and hopefully he can enjoy playing here for a long time."
Merino is the fifth signing made by the Magpies so far this summer, as they prepare for life back in the Premier League.
Defenders Javier Manquillo and Florian Lejeune have joined from Atletico Madrid and Eibar respectively, Christian Atsu has turned his loan into a permanent stay and winger Jacob Murphy has been recruited from Norwich City.
The Magpies are priced at 7/2 to be relegated this season, with Brighton available at 5/4 and Huddersfield Town 4/6.
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