Mikel Merino reacts to Rafa Benitez’s decision to leave him out of his Newcastle starting XI

Mikel Merino celebrates his goal
Mikel Merino celebrates his goal

Mikel Merino has reacted to Rafa Benitez’s decision to leave him out of his last two Newcastle United starting XIs.

The midfielder hasn’t started a game since joining the club on a permanent basis earlier this month.

Merino came off the bench to score the winner against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The 21-year-old said: “Sometimes, you have to go on the bench and it doesnt matter, because the coach trusts different players for different games.

“Of course, I want to play in all of the games if I deserve it, but it doesn’t matter as long as my team-mates are winning and we are all winning together.

“We have good players in every position.”

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.

Newcastle are seventh in the Premier League table. Merino said: “We’ve not done anything yet – we have to keep going like this.”

Of course, I want to play in all of the games if I deserve it, but it doesn’t matter as long as my team-mates are winning and we are all winning together.

Mikel Merino