Aleksandar Mitrovic failed to get things going at Newcastle United last season. He looked incredibly lacklustre in front of goal, which in turn affected the club’s performances on the whole.
After all, they were heavily reliant on him to produce the goods and he let them down on numerous occasions. Despite showing signs of promise at times, the Serbian just could not establish himself for the Magpies. And earlier in January, he was sent out on loan to Fulham.
In a miraculous turn of events, Mitrovic elevated his performances at Craven Cottage. Slavisa Jokanovic’s men sparked a late resurgence to make their way into the Premier League and the Newcastle striker played a key role in their quest to do so.
Mitrovic fired goals left, right and centre and he ultimately notched up 12 strikes in the second-tier competition. After his swashbuckling performances for the Cottagers, there have been reports suggesting that a permanent move could be on the horizon.
But Rafa Benitez must retain Mitrovic’s services and provide him with a second chance in the upcoming season. The feisty attacker has proven his mettle with Fulham and right now, it is safe to say that he is probably the best person to lead the Newcastle line next season.
His work-rate and attitude have been under the scanner several times but his performances for Fulham were more than enough to prove that he is a fighter. And there is absolutely no doubt about his goalscoring skills.
Although Benitez has worked wonders at Newcastle, his decision to let Mitrovic leave continues to be a hotly-debated topic. And bringing in the injury-prone Islam Slimani has not helped the Magpies either.
One might argue that Mitrovic’s form at Fulham might be a one-time wonder but the striker has maintained his red-hot form for his country as well. He scored a splendid hat-trick for Serbia recently and with all this in mind, Benitez must provide him with a second chance.
Slimani is clearly not good enough to lead the line while the likes of Dwight Gayle and Joselu have hardly done anything substantial. Of late, there have been reports of a potential move to sign Salomon Rondon from West Bromwich Albion but wouldn’t it be better for Benitez to trust the player he has at hand?
Mitrovic’s performances for Fulham were far more promising than what Rondon did for the Baggies. Hence, Benitez must stop looking elsewhere and retain Mitrovic’s services instead.