Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino will one day attract attention from Barcelona and Real Madrid, according to goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
The 21-year-old Spaniard made his loan move to the English club permanent from Borussia Dortmund earlier this month and scored the winner in Saturday’s victory over Crystal Palace.
“Yes, I certainly see him in a bracket where clubs like that (Barcelona and Real Madrid) come into it, considering his age,” Elliot told reporters, as quoted by The Independent.
“It’s only a matter of time before the very top clubs come looking at him, but we want to be a top club, too.
“We want him to stay here, we don’t want to see any of our top players up for sale again. That is the mentality now.
“We bring them through, the manager is here. He’s a fantastic signing from the manager and the scouting department and hopefully we’ll just see him develop as a player and he fulfils all that potential at Newcastle.
“Micky has come on and done brilliantly, and it’s great because it shows in every position you’ve got to perform. It’s brilliant news he’s signed permanently, great for the club that such a talented young player has committed himself.
“He’s very, very good. You can see from his performances the talent. There’s no reason why he can’t go on to play at the very top. I certainly see no reason why not. At the moment he is our player and we have to make sure he takes us to the top. We’ve now got a brilliant bunch of midfielders and one of them is having to miss out every week.”
Merino has featured in all nine of the Magpies league matches to date this campaign, starting six and moved for a fee in the region of €7m (£6.5m).
Image via @NUFC