Barcelona opinion: Should Barca sign Mikel Merino?
According to a report from Sport, Barcelona are tracking Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino as Ernesto Valverde sorts out midfield reinforcements. The Spanish midfielder is cited as the replacement for the ageing Sergio Busquets. Merino is tied with Sociedad until 2023.
Merino – A star in the making
Merino, 23, endured a great debut season with the Spanish outfit, racking up a nine-goal tally. Prior to his La Liga move, he spent two seasons in Premier League with Newcastle United.
A youth product of Osasuna, Merino broke into the senior-team and lasted for around two seasons prior to his Borussia Dortmund switch.
Regarded as a versatile midfielder, Merino often founds comfort with the central defensive midfield role. He is currently playing a pivotal role for Spain’s U-21 team in UEFA Euro competition.
Is Merino a successor of Sergio Busquets?
Sergio Busquets has become one of the mainstays of the Catalans and established him as one of the best players at his position. And Valverde is well aware that Busquets is getting caught with the age and a replacement is needed in due time.
Though Frenkie De Jong, Barca’s new signing, is expected to fill the void of Busquets, the Dutch midfielder’s versatility and young age would provide him with more advanced roles at Nou Camp.
The 21-year-old is one of the highly-rated midfielders at the moment and he often used as a deep-lying playmaker at Ajax.
Merino looks a good addition, though it remains to be seen whether he could fill the shoes of the Spaniard Busquets.
The Ex- Dortmund man holds a success pass percentage of 80% (Who Scored) and averages around 40 passes per game. He can also play as an attacking midfielder, the role which he is accustomed to during his first ever season at Sociedad.
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The Catalans currently have a handful of central midfielders at the moment, in which most of them are in their 30s. The best instances are Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic, who the former Olympiacos manager largely preferred throughout the campaign.
Having already signed Frenkie De Jong, the Catalans should maximise their efforts to build their future around young talents.