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It has been widely reported this week that Brighton and Hove Albion have made a formal bid for Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. West Brom, another relegation rival, is also interested in signing him but can only make a bid once they receive funds from the prospective sale of Jonny Evans.
The 23-year-old Mitrovic has been out of the reckoning at Newcastle for a while now with a purported back injury but it seems like he will be fit to see out any medical and complete a transfer in time. He has not started a Premier League game this season and was only a second choice last term in the Championship. However, there is a general feeling that he is better than that.
Mitrovic signed for Newcastle from Anderlecht back in the summer of 2015, having scored 14 league goals in 65 appearances. Those in the ‘hard done to’ camp or those looking for change are the ones who shout the loudest, so it’s easy to think that all Newcastle fans want to see Mitrovic in their team but it’s simply not true.
Just for the avoidance of doubt; I am a Newcastle United fan and a lot of Newcastle United fans love Aleksandar Mitrovic. However, I don’t personally subscribe to the idea that Mitrovic is a lovable rogue, who has not been given the chance by Newcastle to flourish.
Rafa Benitez commented numerous times that there was very little to choose between Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle in training last season, yet the Spaniard has almost always played the former Palace man and the striker went on to be the top scorer last season.
With a man of Benitez’s stature, you have to wonder why he has been reluctant to field Mitrovic more regularly. The answer may, in part be provided by some of the bans he has served and the way he has celebrated his goals. He’s not stable!
On his day and all things being equal, Mitrovic is a fine striker, but rarely are things equal in the world of Aleksandar Mitrovic. Anyone who takes him on, does so with a warning. Newcastle are naturally willing to sell, but they need the money themselves and so unless Brighton are willing to meet Newcastle’s £15million valuation of the Serbian striker, he won’t be going anytime soon. Watch this space though.