Mikel Merino leaves Newcastle for Real Sociedad

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Real Sociedad have completed the signing of midfielder Mikel Merino for a £10m transfer fee.

The Pamplona born player returns to Spain after a season on loan at Premier League side Newcastle United, but this will be his first taste of La Liga football.

The Spanish U21 international played for Osasuna in the Segunda Divsion between 2014-16, before moving onto Borussia Dortmund.

After six months he moved on loan to Tyneside, before making his move permanent at the start of last season.

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La Liga Team of the Week


A mixed bag this weekend in La Liga, as Real Madrid’s emphatic 5-2 home victory over Sociedad was balanced out by two goalless draws and a further three fixtures that only saw one goal. Here are the top point scorers from the 23rd round of action!

Marc ter Stegen, Barcelona – seven points

The Barcelona attack may have come up short for the first time this season but the back line proved as resilient as ever.

ter Stegen bagged his 14th clean sheet of the season in the side’s 0-0 draw with Getafe, a figure only bettered by Atletico’s Jan Oblak. Continue reading

Why Real Sociedad could enjoy a successful second season under David Moyes

Spanish La Liga side Real Sociedad recently brought back midfielder Asier Illarramendi from Real Madrid this summer, with the deep-lying player having struggled for game time at the Santiago Bernabeu. He will join a side strengthened from arrivals such as Jonathas (£5M from Elche), Bruma (loan from Galatasaray), and David Concha (£700K from Racing), as well as a solid existing squad of talent.

And with manager David Moyes having a full pre-season to work with the players, Sociedad are sure to enjoy a more success in the following campaign to the Scot’s debut term at the club. Real drew their opening La Liga fixture away to Deportivo, and could take time to get into their groove before consistency shows, but they are engrained in a philosophy on industry that will hold them in good stead.

With a modest budget, Moyes has kept the new faces to a minimum, with team ethic and familiarity being what drives Sociedad on each season. They finished the previous campaign in a very respectable 12th place, which was a tremendous achievement given the amount of players they’d lost the previous summer, and where they were in the table when Moyes took over.

The former Everton man has said this season that he would consider spending many more years with Sociedad if things went well, and is looking forward to getting a full campaign under his belt. “I might stay for five years, more, but I want to give myself a chance to do a full season,” he said. Sociedad should be much more settled than 2014/15 now Moyes has had a long time to work his philosophy into the squad, which means supporters should see more clean sheets and a low conceded tally.

Real ended the previous season with hit and miss form, winning two, drawing two and losing two of their final six games. They have already picked up a clean sheet away from home in their opener, and will be hoping for many more. Performances on the road will be one area Moyes will want to improve upon, as it could be the difference between a strong top-half finish.

Their next game this season is against Sporting Gijon, who managed to take a point in their opener against Real Madrid. Home advantage will play a big factor, with David Moyes men losing just five of 19 games in their own backyard.

Can Real Sociedad pick up from where they left off?