Aleksandar Mitrovic.

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.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles to [email protected])

City Hall Gifts -

  • Carlo Ancelotti

    He wont be starting under Rafa nor will Mbemba no matter what they do. in Mbemba`s case walking around the training ground with I hate the Spanish on his T shirt doesn`t help

    • Wor Lass

      My guess on the T-shirt prank was “Rafa is a [email protected]” – it`s got to be the only explanation!

  • grantham mag

    I would let him lead the line and play Gayle just behind him.

    • Mark Scott

      Think that’s about the only way it will work, he needs to be the main striker, he needs decent delivery and he needs support. I just don’t think he suits the Rafa style right now and so isn’t being included. yes his attitude may have been questionable but I always thought he had potential but sitting on the bench (at best) won’t see him develop.

  • Damon Horner

    Would you have said the same about Sissoko?

  • Popnbgd

    I couldn’t agree more!Rafa should definitely give Mitro more playing time!Mitro is natural born winner and has potential to become legendary striker!He was extremely young when he signed for NCU and young strikers definitely need more love and support!If Mitro plays for some of the top clubs,where competition is much stronger,maybe I could understand his frequent absence from the starting squad!NCU is not even in a premier league and Mitro definitely deserves more playing time!

  • Blackburn1066

    When are you lot going to give up on this two up front because as long as Rafa B is here you aint gonna get two up front. Rafa does not see Mitro getting the goals he needs to get us up so he sticks with Gayle.

  • ExtremelyNEW

    Bet Victor have placed odds of 8/1 on six different clubs signing Mitrovic in the next transfer window, with Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli joining Premier League quartet Crystal Palace, Swansea, West Brom and West Ham as favourites in the betting.

    Villa are the next favourites, with a price of 12/1 to land the temperamental Serbia international, the same as top-flight trio Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.