Two things are certain about the Newcastle United number 45 in the past year.
The striker has been outstanding for his country but shocking for Newcastle United…and I say that as a massive Mitro fan.
This is the first time I have written anything to go on The Mag but I think Newcastle are heading towards yet another massive transfer blunder.
You have to look at why Mitrovic performs for one and not the other.
In my opinion it is belief.
By that, I mean believing in him as a player, which then leads to the striker himself having belief in what he is doing.
Serbia clearly play to his strengths and tell Mitrovic they love him and think he’s great, the forward repaying them with six goals in his last six internationals.
In the same time period the former Anderlecht has only scored four league goals for Newcastle United.
With his sheer physical size and also the scale of his personality, it was far too easy to forget that Mitro was only 20 years old when he came to St James Park.
Yes he is being paid a lot of money to do the ‘job’ but far too much expectancy was put on such an inexperienced player who had only played in the backwaters of Serbia and Belgium.
Whilst Dwight Gayle was obviously going to be competition, I do think there were big trust issues once Mitrovic got so stupidly sent off against Tottenham.
A meaningless game, he’d scored an excellent goal and then goes and gets himself a ridiculous red card and a ban that would rule him out of the opening matches of the Championship.
Rafa’s opinion of the striker was summed up by the fact that Mitro’s first league start of the season was in the 6-0 win at QPR, the Serbian hitman scoring and leading the line really well, yet it was another seven weeks before he was in the starting eleven once again. Plus, he played at Preston only because Dwight Gayle (and Daryl Murphy?) was injured.
The two really good goals in that Preston match have then been pretty much that, the only Championship goal the followed was the tap-in at Wolves.
Even when coming off the bench, Mitrovic has the look of a player who knows he is not wanted by Newcastle United, or at least the Manager anyway.
Yes, the player maybe should be able to motivate himself whatever the circumstances but footballers are not machines, not everybody can be an Alan Shearer and just produce whatever is going on in the background.
I’m not criticising Rafa Benitez but I think the simple fact is that if he does really want Mitrovic to have a future at Newcastle, he has to put his arm around him and tell him that this is where he can really make it.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is not a world beater but he has shown at times for both his country and Newcastle United that he is a very good striker and goal scorer, when on top of his game.
Rafa needs to break his mould and instead start playing Mitro up front with Dwight Gayle in these last eight matches, give them a run together and what is there to lose?
Perez and Diame have been worse than useless playing in that spot behind the sole striker, so let’s give these two a chance together, nothing to lose and so much to gain if Mitro reacts to the love/belief shown.
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