This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
After the near miss of the play-off semi-final exit to Reading in 2017, Slavisa Jokanovic and Fulham certainly looked like a team on the up.
That seemed to be the case as the Whites put a rather terrible autumn behind them and embarked on an unbeaten run over the Christmas period in 2017/18.
Clearly not satisfied enough with the squad’s attacking firepower, Jokanovic took a chance in signing Newcastle United’s Aleksandar Mitrovic on loan – and it could be fair to say neither Fulham nor the towering Serb have looked back since.
After salvaging a point for Fulham at the weekend, there seems to be no stopping Mitrovic providing at Craven Cottage, fully justifying their reported £22m outlay on the striker following his initial temporary deal that saw the side return to the English top flight after four seasons in the second tier.
That aforementioned unbeaten run stretched to the final day of the season in May 2018, a 23-game streak in the league which propelled Jokanovic and Fulham back to the big-time via the play-offs, with Mitrovic proving crucial.
He took three games to get going for Fulham, but things finally started to click. A run of 12 goals coming in the space of 13 league appearances saw Mitrovic’s loan look like a steal from Newcastle, and the club’s desire to keep the Serbian international in West London was demonstrated in their eight-figure splash on the striker the following summer.
His goals may not have been enough to keep Fulham in the Premier League, but he is still proving his worth, with Mitrovic back amongst the goals in the last few weeks after a three-game drought that had followed five successive goalscoring appearances.
The goalscoring exploits of Mitrovic so far this season serve only to add weight to the notion that without him, Fulham could struggle to return to the top flight at the first time of asking – nor would they have got there in the first place.
At £22m, that seems an economical price to pay to be in with a sure-fire shout of escaping the Championship.
The fact that his market value (according to TransferMarkt) has slightly edged past the mark Fulham paid for him over a year ago further strengthens that case, as it seems that Fulham’s destiny highly depends on the goals of the 25-year-old hitman.
Fulham fans, where would you be without Mitrovic? Join the discussion by commenting below!
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