Newcastle’s Mikel Merino reveals what Rafa Benitez is like away from the training pitch

Mikel Merino
Mikel Merino

Mikel Merino says Rafa Benitez is deadly serious when it comes to getting the best out of his Newcastle United players, according to Mikel Merino.

The midfielder, signed on a season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund, is relishing the opportunity to play for Benitez.

“He’s a very focused person and a very serious person in his job,” said Merino, who scored for Spain’s Under-21s on Tuesday night.

“But then, away from the training ground, he’s a super, super normal guy who is always joking and speaking kindly when he needs to do it.

“I’m very happy to work under him.”

On his move to Newcastle, Merino added: “I’m enjoying it very much.

“To be able to be at this club, being selected and with things going well, overall I’m happy, because I’m playing football.”