Comparing Newcastle’s Mikel Merino With Other Premier League Midfielders – How Does He Fare?
When Mikel Merino decided to convert his loan deal into a permanent transfer involving a five-year contract with Newcastle United, the fans were filled with joy. Merino is a midfielder with real potential, genuine skill and willingness to learn when he is already pretty good.
It not only came as good news for Rafa Benitez and the fans, but also for the rest of their squad because it bolsters hope and belief when a top player commits to the club. Although the player could not get in the team on the opening day, he later took full advantage of Jonjo Shelvey’s three-match ban to establish himself in central midfield. And there’s been no looking back since then.
Merino and Shelvey are ideal for a counter-attacking side because they can release the ball quickly and accurately for the runners. Benitez has certainly got his team organised, and with Merino’s contribution, Newcastle are inching closer to cementing their status. However, how do Merino’s stats compare to other top midfielders in the Premier League?
In six appearances for Newcastle United so far, Merino has already received a Man of the Match award. He has picked up 2 yellow cards but he also contributed with a goal. He averages 0.7 shots per game, while having a pass success of 76.7%. Additionally, the player has won about 1.7 aerial duels per game, according to stats from WhoScored.
Mikel Merino vs Nemanja Matic of Manchester United
Nemanja Matic has appeared 12 times for United across all competitions thus far, and it is surprising to see that his numbers are more or less similar to that of Merino’s, even though the latter has featured about half as many times as Matic.
The Serbian has contributed an assist and averages the same 0.7 shots per game. He has also received a Man of The Match award, and enjoys a pass success of 88.5%. However, he only wins about 1.3 aerial battles per game, according to WhoScored.
Mikel Merino vs N’Golo Kante of Chelsea
Kante may be injured for now but his number of appearances is more than that of Merino’s. He has appeared 9 times for the Blues across competitions, averaging 0.7 shots per game. Kante has chipped in with one goal but he has also picked up a yellow card. Having been adjudged the Man of the Match once, Kante has a pass success of 85.6%. Aerially, he wins only 0.3 duels per game.
Mikel Merino vs David Silva of Manchester City
In 12 appearances across competitions, Silva has contributed one goal and 8 assists. He has picked up one yellow card, but Silva averages 1.5 shots per game, which is the highest among all players mentioned here. His pass success is also the highest at 89.2%. However, the player only wins about 0.6 aerial duels per game. Like others, Silva has also won a Man of the Match award, for Manchester City.
Merino is definitely the strongest when it comes to aerial battles. Also, like in the case of comparing him with Matic, the Newcastle United midfielder is already putting up impressive numbers. In fact, David Silva is arguably the best among the Premier League midfielders right now, and the fact that Merino’s numbers are close to his, speaks volumes.