In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things have panned out for the player in question at his new club.
On the week that Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic turns 25, Transfer Tavern takes a look at the decisive moment in his career, which came back in January of 2018, when the Serbian marksman joined the club on loan for the second half of the 2017-18 season.
Having scored just one goal in six league appearances for Newcastle during the first half of the 2017-18 campaign, Mitrovic was sent on loan to the Cottagers at the beginning of last year in order to gain minutes in the Championship, as the west Londoners eyed up a return to the top-flight.
Seven goals in his opening eight fixtures for the Lilywhites saw Mitrovic emerge as one of the divisions deadliest frontmen. He ended the season on a hugely respectable 12 goals and one assist, as Fulham missed out on automatic promotion on the final day, losing 3-1 to Birmingham City; their first league loss of the calendar year. They did, however, earn promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs, beating Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley.
Mitrovic’s performances on loan at Fulham earned him a permanent move to west London last summer, with the Cottagers paying Newcastle a fee of £22m, according to the Mirror and pleased fans online at the time.
— Pat Dodds (@fulhampat) July 30, 2018
— Evan Russell (@EvR_18) July 30, 2018
— Harry (@harridaughter_) July 30, 2018
Glad about this. Made a huge difference for us during out promotion campaign
— Danny D (@TripleD_DDD) July 30, 2018
Number 9 love it
— T (@DunDunDun100) July 30, 2018
Despite the club enduring a poor campaign last term, and subsequently finding themselves relegated from the first-tier after just one season back in it, Mitrovic was the one shining beacon for the Cottagers. The Serbia international found the net 11 times, whilst chipping in with three assists (Transfermarkt), but unfortunately couldn’t help steer the club away from relegation.
This season, he has seemingly picked off exactly where he left off last term, scoring five goals in his opening seven games for the Cottagers, as they look to make it back to the big time at the first time of asking.
Leading the way in terms of shots per game (3.4, per WhoScored) this season, as well as goals obviously, the former Anderlecht ace is once again becoming the focal point from which Fulham’s promotion hopes are built around. Clearly an effective outlet at this level in particular, the Serbian looks perfect for that role, given his track record.
Handed a new deal this summer – reportedly making him the highest-paid player in the Championship (per 90 min) – spearheading another successful promotion would make the major outlay in terms of transfer fee and wages look rather worth it.
Can Mitrovic lead Fulham back to the Premier League? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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