Newcastle United have completed a season-long loan deal for Borussia Dortmund midfielder and Spain Under-21 international Mikel Merino.
The Pamplona-native moved to the Bundesliga club last summer after two seasons in La Liga 123 with Osasuna but started only two matches all seasons in all competitions and wanted to move on.
“It feels good and I'm very happy to be here, to be part of this club,” Merino told the Newcastle website.
“I'm looking forward to touching the ball, meeting my new team-mates and starting to play football.
“I know it's a great club and a really nice city. I had different options but I think this is the right place for me to play.”
Manager Benitez stated: “Mikel is a midfielder with talent, an under-21 international for Spain. 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."
Linked with a move to Athletic Bilbao among other top flight Spanish clubs, this will be considered as a coup for the newly-promoted English side.
Image via @NUFC