Aleksandar Mitrovic got his first start for Fulham on Saturday.

After two sub appearances following his deadline day loan move, the Newcastle striker was put into the side to play Aston Villa.

Villa arrived on the back of seven straight Championship wins but Fulham came out 2-0 on top and are fifth in the table.

Despite Aleksandar Mitrovic not scoring, the Fulham Chairman described him as a ‘sensation’, whilst the manager also was full of praise…

Slavisa Jokanovic:

“Although he didn’t score, Aleksandar Mitrovic had a very good game for us.

“He held the ball up very well and had a positive impact on the game.

“His movement for the first goal allowed space for Sessegnon to score an important goal.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was unfortunate not to play for many months, we expect we can help him to be in better shape for the upcoming games.”

However, always the best guide is hearing what the supporters have to say.

Reading through the comments below, I think you will be very surprised, especially if you are a Mitro-Sceptic.

Even Newcastle fans who think he has what it takes, would praise his potential goalscoring and certain other attributes possibly, but even they might be hard pushed to recognise the player that Fulham fans are describing.

Almost all of them mention his tremendous workrate and how he was a brilliant example to the rest of their players.

With Rafa Benitez seemingly not picking Mitrovic at all due to a perceived lack of workrate and mobility that he wants to see up front, no doubt a fair few Newcastle supporters will once again be wondering whether Mitro could have done a job this season in the Premier League?

Fulham fans comment on Mitrovic via their top Friends of Fulham message board:

‘Mitrovic is an utter beast!’

‘Villa couldn’t live with Mitrovic today, every challenge that presented itself to him he won , and through his ability to hold the ball up so well it gave the keeper the freedom and full license to do whatever he wanted to do with the ball,

Today really showed how much we’ve missed a target man like Mitro , he’s going to be an important player for us for the remainder of the season,

If we end up playing Villa at Wembley in May on a hot afternoon I really hope Terry plays.’

‘Mitrovic looked the best we had tried in that position all season and  earned himself a game against City on Wednesday. A goal would now do him the world of good.’

‘I totally agree, he looked really good today.’

‘Good solid game and caused them trouble every time he had the ball and even when he didn’t,did some excellent tackling back and won the ball on numerous occasions.’

‘He will get fitter but I agree he had a good match today, I especially liked the tackling back. His goal will come and that should boost his confidence.’

Mitro was tremendous today.  When he came off you could see he had given his all.  Best ‘up top man we’ve had since the heady days of McBride & Bob.’

‘Mitrovic has a good work ethic, skill and vision..’

‘Moment that sticks out for me was him chasing a ball that looked like a impossible task before clattering the linesman.. most would have given up and the rest wouldn’t have chased the ball in the first place.’

‘Considering his lack of games he was outstanding!’

‘Mitrovic seems to be the player everyone hoped Chris Martin would be.’

‘So happy to see him show more today. I was concerned about pressure up high, but he did just fine and tracked back splendidly.

Made some crucial tackles when Villa were trying to restart their attacks, and we were put in good positions as a result.

He’s begging for the ball and congratulating + encouraging teammates, just have to love that. Very excited for more from this player!’

Make no mistake Mitovic is a really good player and is well above championship level. Pity we didn’t get him last January as we planned due to his injury putting him out.’

‘Yes, he was excellent. A constant thorn in the side of the Villa defence – he was great both on and off the ball and has a real footballing head. He looks physically intimidating, and his height and strength are a plus as we’ve often looked like a team of flyweights in a league of big lumps.’

‘Offers more options with the hold up play and he linked well with the team, he can pass a ball too!’

‘Best since Saha in my view.’

It’s been a long time coming, let’s hope we can keep him.’

‘What we have been lacking up front, played well but not as brilliantly as some are making out,not from where I was sitting.

And the Football league paper had Fred 2 points above everyone which I agree with and Mitro and Kalas as our worst on 6 out of 10.

But it’s all about opinions and we see things differently…Fred was man of the match by a mile,shackled Snodgrass.’

‘Agree very much that has been said regarding the link up and work ethic shown by Mitro.

Also hope he is a good influence on Kamara. Was interesting to see how Kamara came on and picked right up where Mitro left off. His first touch was a beautiful piece of link up with Sess. He also bullied Onomah off the pitch for a throw in that showed some understanding I am not sure he has before with how to use his frame.

Maybe the presence of Mitro on the training ground will influence his play positively as well.’

‘Mitro was my MOM, BY A MILE…Not to say Fred was anything other than great, but Mitro is that missing link and makes us a top team now.’

‘Was winning every (and I do mean every) high ball to him and having the touch and skill to hold it up and bring others into the game.

Also he got well stuck into Terry which was lovely.’

‘Mtrovic played with huge quality, don’t think he gave the ball away at all. 

He massively occupied the Villa defence and allowed space for Ayite and Sess, this was seen for the first goal allowing Sess to use his amazing special qualities to ghost in and score.  He won many headers, his control was fantastic.  He seemed to know where other players were which surprised me given his short time at the club. 

Finally he worked his backsidee off and was a great influence with his attitude.   Looked like a Premier League player playing below his level.’

‘Brilliant signing. Mitro could prove to be the difference.’

  • Dillon Tovak

    Keep up the good work Mitro. But you’ll have to prove yourself against better defenders than an ancient John Terry.

    • mentalman

      he was playing against a team who may well swap places with us this season

  • HarryHype59

    Let’s hope he does well there and then can be sold in the summer for a decent fee.

  • Paul Patterson

    For heavens sake, he’s found his level, end of . .

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      He 23 … are you serious?

      • Damon Horner

        I can remember you weren’t exactly patient or understanding towards Matz Sels when he was a “just a 24 year old” ‘keeper to be honest mate, both he and Mitro have excelled in Belgium but found it challenging over here but the viewpoints are hugely different.

        Dummett, Lascelles, Yedlin and Perez haven’t had the same age reprieve either over the last few seasons.

        • Paul Patterson

          I like his passion but that doesn’t make up for the fact that he always looks paggered after twenty minutes and at PL level I don’t think he will do it.
          The only concession I have is that he should have been tried more often than Joselu..

          • Damon Horner

            Agreed, Plenty of things can be said or speculated and most of them aren’t good, I totally agree with you, I will be surprised if he makes it at top level, he looks to me like one of those players that won’t ever get beyond “raw talent”.

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          I think I stated that Rafa was unfair in Sels and should have backed the lad and his own judgment more

      • Jezza

        Alan Shearer had 100 top flight goals under his belt by the time he was 23.

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          Comparing anyone to Alan Shearer is a bit unfair. “You aren’t the literal greatest striker in the history if the EPL. You must be a failure”

          • thewildchimp

            He’s at least in the top 10 of all times worldwide, if not 5.

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          And how many shearer’s come along ?

          • Jezza

            Alright, let’s look at it another way. Shola Ameobi had potential when he was 23.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            And he was given the chance to grow as a player .. he had every opportunity.. Mitro needs the same … then it’s up to him

          • Jezza

            The trouble is we can’t afford to have another Shola on our hands for the next ten years.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            Who says that has to be the outcome of the same opportunity??

          • Jezza

            All I’m saying is we can’t give him the same opportunity Shola had. We can’t persevere with him for another ten years if he’s not performing.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            How about the same chances as Joselu or Perez then?

          • Jezza

            He’s had two full seasons at the club and has started more games than Joselu. This whole discussion is absolutely pointless anyway because Mitrovic will almost certainly be moved on in the sumer so I will bow out now.

        • paul mclaughlan

          Unfair to compare him to Shearer as he was one of the greatest strikers ever.

          • Jezza

            Maybe so but my point is that the age of 23 is too far on in a player’s career to still be talking in terms of potential and one for the future. All the top players are at their best by that age.

            Mitrovic showed flashes of promise in his first season here and to be fair last season in the Championship should have been made for him. He should have been banging in goals left right and centre but instead he fell flat on his face and looked out of his depth even at that level.

          • jack

            He wasn’t given many starts in the championship either , even in the championship Rafa didn’t pick him

        • steve

          It also took Shearer 75 top flight games to score the number of goals Mitrovic scored in his debut season

          • Jezza

            Are you sure about that? Mitrovic scored 8 in his debut season. I can’t believe it took Shearer 75 games to get to 8 especially considering he got 3 on his debut.

          • steve

            He didn’t score again that season or the next then followed it up with 3 in 26 then 4 in 36. Shearer didn’t become a regular scorer until he was 22.

          • Jezza

            OK fair enough. I didn’t realise that. I’m surprised Blackburn paid a British record transfer fee for him if he wasn’t scoring at that stage of his career.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            He struggled all that season and the next

    • Jezza

      Very true. One decent game in the Championship doesn’t make him the guaranteed 30 Premiership goals a season striker that some people on this forum seem to think he is.

    • ghostrider

      Nah he hasn’t found his level. He’s playing at a level that allows him to get back to full fitness to show that his level is way higher.
      The issue is Rafa doesn’t trust him but Rafa knows he’s quality and so do you and every other premier league team who’ve came up against him.

      Fulham get the benefit as it stands and good luck to Mitro.

      • Paul Patterson

        Don’t tell me what you think I ‘know’..

        • ghostrider

          What do you “know?” Or what is it you “think?”

  • Damon Horner

    So far so good, Target Man system suits Fulham’s style. He doesn’t need goals of his own if the team are scoring.

  • TheFatController

    Yep, that sounds exactly like the league Gayle scored a hatful in last season ….

  • Geordiegiants

    Great lad with great passion, he will be a decent player in the championship, which is his level, for a team looking for a target man.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    I fail to see any surprise.. he’s a 23 year old with potential .. he’s not the finished article by a long shot BUT as I’ve said before, if he was we couldn’t have afforded him … for a target man and proper centre forward he’s in his infancy.. look at Batshuayi (and he’s surrounded by quality players) .. we shouldn’t write Mitrovic off .. he has something, that’s why we target him as a 22 year old prospect.. we should help him develop.. after all that was our sales pitch to him when we approached him.

  • jack

    Why would Newcastle fans be surprised , if Rafa doesn’t play him how can he show his true worth , people seem to forget he is only young and was coveted by a lot of teams before we signed him , I honestly think that if we sell him we’d be fools cos we just haven’t seen the best of him , and he’s definitely better than Gayle and Joselu , I think a partnership with Slimani would of put fear in a lot of defences

  • Rich Lawson

    Good for the lad,hope he is a continued success there,interesting to see him getting praise from a few for tracking back which he got slated on here for not doing when he played for us.The praise from his manager will also help his game.

  • Wor Lass

    Good luck to Mitro. His heart was clearly in the club but he never had a sustained run to settle all the arguments. That was partly his own doing with his indiscipline but I`m convinced there must have been a specific problem behind the scenes that caused Rafa to write him out of the script. It will probably come out eventually. I`m pleased he`s made a good start but look at how the fans took to Joselu when he first arrived!

  • Viru leckworth

    I would happily swap him for Sesegnon.

  • Albert Stubbins

    josselyn had a cracking debut for us and we all know what happened there? didnt frankie pingel score in his first game as well? lol lol

    • Jezza

      No it took Frank Pingel something like 13 games to get his one and only goal for us. A slow looping header with his back to goal against Liverpool. I remember getting soaked to the skin in the Gallowgate that day. Pingel’s goal put us 2-1 and prompted a stroming rendition of The Blaydon Races which was cut short before the chorus as Liverpool went straight down from the kick off and equalised.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        He did get another, an OG at Coventry in a game we actually won IIRC. My mate was at Warwick uni and we saw Bad Manners play in the evening.

        Sadly, we still went down.

      • Ben Jones

        You do have some good stories Jezza (genuine comment)

      • Albert Stubbins

        Aye. I was there. Early mirandinha goal. And he hit the stanchion as well. I thought it was one of his first games as he only played about fifteen as I recall?

        • Jezza

          Ah yes Mirandinha whacked the inside of the post from 30 yards and Grobelaar never even saw it. The first he knew of it was when he heard the sound of the ball smacking off the post behind him.

  • Mike

    move on Rafa didnt rate him he was crp

  • Mag_Ladd

    Why would these comments surprise us? He’s a player who puts in a shift and they’ve mentioned the qualities we already know we has. He’s a good player and it’s not surprising anyone that he’s performing well.

    Mitro just doesn’t fit in with Rafa’s plans, which as a fan of Mitro is unfortunate for me but I’ll stick with Rafa’s plans for our club over any player I’m a fan of at our club.