Mikel Merino Zazón (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmikel meˈɾino]; born 22 June 1996) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Real Sociedad and the Spain national team.
After starting out at Osasuna, he went on to play for Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle United and Real Sociedad.
Merino represented Spain in two European Under-21 Championships, winning the 2019 edition. He made his full debut in 2020.
Born in Pamplona, Navarre, Merino began his career with CD Amigó, later moving to CA Osasuna. He made his senior debut with the reserves in the 2013–14 season, in the Tercera División.
On 23 August 2014, Merino made his first competitive appearance with the first team, starting in a 2–0 home win against FC Barcelona B in the Segunda División. He scored his first professional goal on 21 December, the winner in a 2–1 away victory over UD Las Palmas.
Merino was definitely promoted to the main squad on 31 January 2015, being awarded the number 8 jersey. He was a regular starter in his first year, helping them narrowly avoid relegation.
In the 2015–16 campaign, Merino scored four goals from 34 appearances to help Osasuna finish sixth and reach the promotion play-offs. In that stage's first round, he netted a brace in a 3–1 home win against Gimnàstic de Tarragona, and added another goal in the second leg (3–2 victory).
On 15 February 2016, Merino signed a five-year deal with Borussia Dortmund, which was made effective on 1 July. His first appearance in the Bundesliga occurred on 14 October, when he played the full 90 minutes in a 1–1 home draw to Hertha BSC.
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