Aleksandar Mitrovic has never quite managed to live up to his potential at Newcastle United for a multitude of reasons, but his relationship with Rafa Benitez seems to have been a pivotal factor.
At 23-years-of-age there’s still enormous scope for Mitrovic to improve, but it seems his career will be pursued away from St James’ Park next season.
After enjoying a promising loan spell at Fulham in which he notched 12 goals from just 17 appearances in the Championship, the Serbian looks destined to leave on a permanent deal this summer with the Cottagers lining up a formal offer according to The Northern Echo.
Whether or not another club will rival Fulham’s bid for Mitrovic remains to be seen, but either way the sale will leave a feeling of what might have been amongst plenty of Newcastle supporters. Newcastle were desperately lacking the presence of a clinical centre-forward last season as Joselu huffed and puffed to no great effect whilst Dwight Gayle rarely found himself in goal-scoring positions.
If the Magpies wish to continue to hold their own in the Premier League then they clearly need to add depth to their attacking options, but with limited financial resources they will undoubtedly struggle to find value for money in the transfer market. The sale of Mitrovic is ultimately deemed as a necessity for Newcastle to raise funds for further acquisitions, but in reality Benitez could be making a huge mistake.
It’s clear that Benitez and Mitrovic (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) have never quite seen eye-to-eye and their fractured relationship is widely-regarded as one of the core reasons for the Serbian’s failure to break into the first-team at the club. However, considering Mitrovic has the potential to become the club’s best striker, Benitez would make a huge mistake by selling him to a Premier League rival this summer, especially one who could be locked in a relegation battle with the Magpies towards the end of the campaign.
At this stage there seems to be no going back for Mitrovic at Newcastle despite the impressive form he displayed at Fulham last season and, unless Benitez has a prolific striker lined up to replace him, the Spaniard could be made to regret the decision in the years to come.
Newcastle fans – thoughts? Let us know below!