Rafa Benitez has revealed in his press conference ahead of Newcastle United vs Watford that Mikel Merino is in contention to start after recovering from his injury.
The manager revealed the positive news, while also confirming the Magpies would be without four players for the game against Watford.
Rafa on injuries: "Merino is available & is ready to start if necessary, which is good with Hayden's suspension. Dummett, Atsu & Lascelles are still recovering but are not ready" #nufc
— Chris Waugh (@ChrisDHWaugh) November 24, 2017
Issac Hayden is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Manchester United, with Paul Dummett, Christian Atsu and captain Jamaal Lascelles all still sidelined by injuries.
However fans were excited at the surprise return of Merino, who fans were previously not expecting to see back until early December.
The midfielder, despite only joining in the summer, has quickly become a fan favourite thanks to his impressive performances across his nine Premier League outings.
So far he has only scored one goal, but in the three league games the midfielder has missed, the Magpies slumped to defeats in all of them, including a disappointing 1-0 defeat at St James Park to Bournemouth.
The 21-year-old originally moved to Newcastle United on loan from Borussia Dortmund in July, but has since signed a five-year-contract with the club to make the move permanent.
Here are the best reactions to the news that Merino might potentially start against Watford on Saturday:
Merino being available is a massive boost in my eyes #NUFC
— Unlikely Lad (@doddsy1975) November 24, 2017
Merino in the squad, would without a doubt start him tomorrow even if he can’t manage the full 90 – the lad adds a whole new dynamic to our team #NUFC
— TalkNUFC (@TalkNUFC1) November 24, 2017
Win percentage without Merino in starting 11 = 17%
Win percentage with Merino in starting 11 = 50%
— Sam Toons (@ComeOnToons) November 24, 2017
Absolutely brilliant news Merino is back in the team tomorrow. It's amazing how vital he's become in such a short space of time #nufc
— NUFC Sense (@nufcsense) November 24, 2017
Merino back tomorrow, awesome news ???????????? #NUFC
— Chad Presley (@chad_presley) November 24, 2017
Merino back is a HUGE boost for us #NUFC
— Jonny Martin (@JonnyMartin1) November 24, 2017
Excellent news regarding Merino. Just gets better every game he plays and has become an important part of out spine. Intelligent, efficient, breaks up play and always looking to pass the ball forward. No10 in the making #nufc
— K H A N – Z (@angryZK) November 24, 2017
— Bucko (@Cheshire_Mag) November 24, 2017
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