Merino suggested that he still is far from fully match sharp, as he still adapts to playing in the Premier League.
And if the Spanish central midfielder can have such an impact at St. James’ Park while he is short of his best, then the future looks very exciting for Merino and Newcastle.
“Physically, I still need to adapt to the league and how it works,” Merino said.
“It’s a different rhythm in this league, and he [Rafael Benitez] knows it, so he’s giving me – not only me, but all of the team – advice all the time.
“Tactically, he tells you want to do, what he wants. I think I’m improving, and, little by little, I will reach 100%. That’s what I want to do – to keep improving and be my best, and this coach can help me do that.”
Merino has already been one of Newcastle’s stand out performers this season, and if he can improve further - then Benitez’s side could have a real star on their hands.
Newcastle have already agreed a fee with Borussia Dortmund to sign the midfielder permanently at the end of the season, and that appears to be very smart business.
Merino’s strong form has been a major reason behind Newcastle’s impressive opening to the campaign.
The Magpies have won their last three matches in succession to move into fourth place in the Premier League table.