Newcastle United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are eagerly anticipating the 2018/19 Premier League season, what with their team seeking to build upon their impressive tenth place finish last time round.
Rafa Benitez’s men deserve enormous credit for sealing a top-half finish upon their return to the top tier last season, with it just 12 months previous in which they won the Championship title. However, based on their limitations in the 2017/18 campaign, it’s clear that reinforcements will be needed over the summer if the North East giants are to move to the next level this season, and perhaps back towards their former glories.
As such, there are many optimistic and expectant Magpies supporters in the Tavern at present, several of whom are likely to be interested by recent reports suggesting that their club want £20 million for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic this summer.
Yet the North East heavyweights should forget about cashing in on the £7.2 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt), as he could still offer a huge amount to the Newcastle forward ranks this season.
Ultimately, the 23-year-old was shipped out on loan to Championship side Fulham back in January after falling down Benitez’s pecking order at St James’ Park, and the Serbia international certainly proved his worth to the Cottagers with 12 goals in just 20 games for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side.
Yes, those goals came at Championship level and as such don’t necessarily prove his quality in the top-flight, but it’s clear that Newcastle are in need of that kind of goal-scorer to take them to the next level – Mitrovic could be that man.
Joselu has proven that he is simply not up to the job, Islam Slimani’s loan spell was an utter disaster, and Dwight Gayle may well have performed solidly last term, but the jury is still out on his capabilities in the Premier League.
Thus, there is surely a space for the 23-year-old in Benitez’s squad for the coming top-flight season, and a fine World Cup with Serbia, who won their opening game 1-0 against Costa Rica on Sunday, could only serve to convince the Newcastle chief of his abilities once again.
Yes, £20 million would be a great return for the striker, but Newcastle have to weigh up whether they would be able to get a better forward this summer to replace Mitrovic – it’s plausible that they can’t, and indeed won’t.
And with the forward ranks clearly a problem last season, the Magpies should forget about selling the striker for £20 million this summer, as they must do all they can to keep him at St James’ Park to bolster their strike-force heading into the new Premier League campaign.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!