• Merino happy at new club Dortmund.
  • Agreed a five-year deal in the spring.
  • Made full debut in defeat to 1860 Munich.

Life at Borussia Dortmund ticks all the boxes for Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino.

The 20-year-old only joined the club on 1 July from Spanish Segunda Division outfit CA Osasuna, but says he already feels part of the BVB family.

"I've been here a few days and I'm delighted with my new teammates," Merino told bvb total!. "They've taken me in. They're fantastic players, but they're all really nice guys who have made it really easy for me here."

Merino is still getting a feel for the demands of Thomas Tuchel's system. © imago / DeFoDi

Not even the language barrier has got in the way of Mikel's transition to the Dortmund way of life. "It's a mix of English, German and Spanish, but it’s going well," he explained. "When the coach speaks in German quickly, I ask my Spanish-speaking teammates like Adrian Ramos and Gonzalo Castro."

Dortmund's playing style is not quite as alien as the German heavyweights' mother tongue is to the 12-time Spain Under-19 international, but it still requires some getting used to for a man who was largely fed a diet of Spanish football as a youngster.

"Obviously they're two different playing styles," Merino continued. "At Osasuna the emphasis was on physical work. That's important here too, but there's more of an emphasis on what you do with the ball. Also the link-up play - we'll have to see how I get on" [smiles].

Merino has a win over FC St. Pauli and a defeat to TSV 1860 Munich to show for his pre-season efforts in Dortmund colours so far, but BVB teammate Sokratis Papastathopoulos is confident the Spaniard - like all of the club's summer recruits - has what it takes to succeed in a black and yellow jersey.

"They are good players, but they are new players; they have to learn and we need to help them," the Greece international said. "But they are all good players. We have six or seven players who are experienced and we have to help them."