If Newcastle's Mikel Merino played for one of the top four, would he already be hailed a superstar?

A general view of St James' Park is seen prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Norwich City at St James' Park on October 18, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

The Newcastle United midfielder has been brilliant since arriving on loan.

Newcastle player Mikel Merino in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St. James Park on September 16, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Newcastle United may have had a relatively quiet summer transfer window, but the addition of Mikel Merino has quickly proved to be a masterstroke, to such an extent that if he was playing for one of the top four it is hard to imagine the plaudits would not be raining down from every direction.

The 21-year-old signed for the Magpies in a season-long loan deal from Borussia Dortmund and has slotted seamlessly into Rafa Benitez's starting XI, displaying a composure and passing range the envy of many in the division.

Renato Sanches of Swansea City and Mikel Merino of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Newcastle United at Liberty Stadium on September 10, 2017 in...

Given his age and his swift transition in a famously tough league - in a position where players far more experienced than him have come unstuck - Merino's contribution thus far has been outstanding, and yet aside from Newcastle fans the plaudits have been relatively few and far between.

Had Merino been snapped up by Chelsea or Manchester United, or any of the other current challengers for a Champions League place, he would be hailed as a superstar in the making.

Instead he is calmly and brilliantly going about his business for a Newcastle team who were wise to make their move when no one else was prepared to.

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United makes his way to the home bench prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in...

Benitez overlooked a poor spell at Borussia Dortmund, knowing just how good the young Spaniard was, and Newcastle are now reaping the rewards.

Magpies fans will not care if Merino's impact has been relatively under-reported in comparison with some of the mega-money arrivals at other top flight clubs, because in time the 21-year-old could outshine many of them.

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