Aleksandar Mitrovic has given a perfect summing up of the madness of transfer deadline day.
On 31 January, Newcastle United completed eight deals.
They were all loan arrangements and saw six players move out and two arrive.
To the general public, why this brinkmanship goes on is anybody’s guess, as in most cases you can’t understand why the clubs/players/agents/managers don’t all have an unspoken agreement to get everything/most done by 30 January or earlier.
In an excellent interview with The Times, Aleksandar Mitrovic explains how late on Tuesday 30 January, agreement was reached for a plane to pick him up at 10am on deadline day to fly him to Bordeaux to sign on loan until the end of the season.
However, he woke up on the morning of the 31 January to find out that his former club Anderlecht wanted him, so he then knocked back Bordeaux.
His countryman Slavisa Jokanovic (Fulham manager) then called but Mitro told him that he wasn’t interested in Fulham as Anderlecht had come in for him and that was his first preference.
Landing in Belgium at 7pm on deadline day (night), when he reached Anderlecht’s stadium to complete the move, the striker was then told it was off because they didn’t have the money to fund the loan, due t another deal breaking down.
At that point Mitrovic was sitting there without a loan club to go to for some regular football, with only an hour to go until the deadline.
Newcastle then called him to say he could go to Middlesbrough as they had set up a late deal, only to be saved from that fate as he waited for the papers to come through and be signed.
Aleksandar Mitrovic ending up in a random Snapchat conversation with Fulham boss Jokanovic who only then found out Mitro wasn’t signing for Anderlecht. So a very very last minute deal was worked out and he signed for Fulham.
Having initially become a Newcastle United fan as a kid because they wore the same colours as Partizan who he supported, Mitro now finds himself once again in black and white at Fulham.
He is still desperate for Newcastle to survive and thrive and even more desperate to be a success this Summer at the World Cup finals in Russia.
Whatever you think of him as a player, it is difficult/impossible not to like him as a person. With a lack of real quality at Newcastle United in the playing squad, Aleksandar Mitrovic was a real cult hero, especially for younger fans. Whatever does or doesn’t happen for him in the future at St James Park, many Newcastle supporters will be following his fate closely in these next five or six months.
Aleksandar Mitrovic talking to The Times:
“For me Newcastle is such a big club and he [Benitez] knows it as well.
“It has an amazing stadium and fans, it deserves to be in a much better position than it is now.
“Benitez saw the big potential of this club.
“I hope they stay in the Premier League, they deserve this.
“I never met Mike Ashley, he was my boss and I have to respect him.
“I will say Newcastle has a big history and I hope the club will be where it should be.
“Even now I wear black and white [at Fulham].”
Going to the World Cup:
“To be Serbian is the proudest thing in my life.
“The country has been through a lot of wars. We never give up, we fight for our freedom.
“The Serbian mentality is really strong because of what we have been through. I bet every single Serbian thinks the way I think.
“It will be the biggest moment in our football careers, in our lives.
“If we need to give blood we will give blood just to represent our people in the best way we can.”