Newcastle United supporters have been reasonably satisfied in recent times after seeing their team pick up their second point of the Premier League season on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their meeting with Crystal Palace having lost four of their opening five league games, albeit those defeats did come at the hands of Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal. And the Magpies doubled their points’ tally at Selhurst Park at the weekend in drawing 0-0 with Roy Hodgson’s misfiring Palace, a result which leaves the North East giants in the bottom three, but did at least end their three-match losing run.
Thus, there have been many satisfied Newcastle fans up and down the country in recent times, although they are unlikely to be overly thrilled with the goal-scoring exploits of Aleksandar Mitrovic, who they sold to fellow top-flight outfit Fulham during the summer.
And while Benitez’s side made a £9 million profit on the Serbia international, they are being the shown the error of their ways given the striker’s outstanding start to the new Premier League season, alongside the Magpies’ own difficulties in front of goal.
Ultimately, things didn’t really work out for the 24-year-old at St James’ Park during his three-year stint at the club between 2015 and 2018, with the forward mustering just 17 goals in 72 appearances for the Magpies.
And in managing just four goals in 26 Championship appearances for Benitez’s side in their run to the second tier title in 2016/17, it on the surface looked like the right call to let Mitrovic go during the summer, as the striker simply failed to regularly produce the goods for the North East heavyweights.
However, his brilliant form for Fulham, both this term and indeed last season in the Championship, highlights that things aren’t wrong with the 24-year-old, but instead Newcastle as a whole.
The Serbian star has been sensational for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men in netting 16 goals in just 27 appearances for the Cottagers, 12 of which coming in 17 league games last term to help them reach the Championship play-off final, which they won 1-0 over Aston Villa at Wembley – thus, why couldn’t he produce that level of performance on Tyneside?
And while some weren’t overly sure whether Mitrovic could reproduce that level of performance in the top-flight, he has proven those doubters wrong so far in bagging five goals in just six Premier League games for the West London outfit – and given Fulham have only netted eight times overall, it’s clear that he is a hugely influential figure at Craven Cottage.
And all this must serve as massive frustration to Newcastle supporters up and down the country, as Mitrovic looks and simply is a completely different player for Fulham than he was during his time on Tyneside – and given how blunt the Magpies have looked going forward in the last 12 months, the Fulham Mitrovic would be a huge asset to Benitez’s side.
As such, while the North East giants did make a £9 million profit on the forward, having signed him for £13 million back in 2015 and then selling him for £22 million during the summer, it’s a situation which shows everything that is wrong at Newcastle United, given Mitrovic has gone on to become the player his potential always suggested he could be by moving to Fulham – a player that rarely produced that level of performance at St James’ Park.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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