Fulham fans are loving Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Arriving on loan a month ago, it has understandably taken him a few weeks to get near full fitness, and on Saturday he scored his third goal in the last three matches.

In the six games Mitro has featured, Fulham have won four and drawn two, plus the last four matches have been against other clubs in the Championship top six.

Many Fulham fans are bemused as to why Rafa hasn’t given the Serbian striker a single league start for Newcastle this season, with his last league game for NUFC being 10 months ago.

Also, the fact that Mitro got only 11 Championship starts last season, is possibly the hardest stat to explain.

Scoring the first goal in the 2-1 away win at Derby on Saturday, this is what Get West London had to say about Aleksandar Mitrovic:

‘Mitrovic 8:

Caused a problem up front and got his third goal in as many games.

Outstanding hold-up play, adding that little bit extra that Fulham have lacked in the past.’

With Newcastle so short of goals and quality up front and Rafa Benitez preferring to bring in an injured loan striker in Islam Slimani rather than give Mitro a try, obviously some Newcastle supporters, as well as Fulham fans, have wondered whether the former Anderlecht forward should have been given a try.

Fulham fans comments on Aleksandar Mitrovic (and Rafa Benitez) via various Fulham message boards:

‘Can’t help but think how Rafa Benitez must have been thinking last night how he could do with a player like Mitrovic.’

‘I love our beast from the east!

Mitro and Sess are gonna blast us back to where we belong.’

‘What was Rafa Benitez thinking  of!’

‘Does anybody know do we get to keep Mitrovic for the play offs? Hopefully yes and auto promotion.’

‘I believe all loan players are contracted until end of May, after the playoffs. So they will be there if needed.

Mitro and Taggart fit into our system like a pair of gloves – whatever happens, I hope we sign both.’

‘Happy Slav again – Mitro proving to be valuable addition.’

‘Very interesting to watch Mitro at close quarters.

He looks a fantastic signing.

Mitrovic has already shown us what we have been missing for most of the season, a main striker who really knows how to play in the target man role.

The big serb has an excellent first touch and is able to hold off opponents, make the occas=sional deft combination with onrushing team members and can also rough up opposing centre halves.

He meets the ball on the half-turn which makes it almost impossible for even the strongest of CBs to make any contact with the ball without giving away a free-kick.

He has a confidence and swagger about him which is so great to see.’

‘Massive signing for us.’

‘So, my Newcastle m8 at work subtly walked up today and was like “Mitrovic is gonna get you promoted isn’t he?”

He couldn’t believe Newcastle would throw him away and that it was only their style of play that prohibited them from using him.

He couldn’t believe how they didn’t use him and thought he was their best striker and that they should have used him as a target man.

Their loss is our gain, for now.’

‘The guy he reminds me of is Mark Viduka. Big, not quite fit looking, who holds the ball up and has touch on the ball that a bloke that big should not have.’

‘What I like is his ability to read the game so well for a guy who is quite young in footballing terms.  It is that which allows him to get into places that upset and disturb opponents.

For me the best news is the guy is only going to get better.  I hope Fulham can do the business and sign him permanently in the summer window.’

‘Has been unplayable since he arrived, got everything in his locker. He just needs to avoid getting sent off.

‘Whichever division we are in next season I want us to sign him permanently.

Newcastle can keep Gayle. Aleksandar Mitrovic offers so much more.’

‘Hope that his loan agreement does not have a recall clause as Rafa Benitez may see what he is missing and recall him.

Playing in a side who can give him the ball allows him to play.’



  • Leazes.

    ‘What was Rafa Benitez thinking of!’…… maybe getting a replacement who can score in the Premier League, little did he know the club had other ideas.

    What a shambles!

    • Clarko

      Benitez did get a replacement, he chose to replace Mitrovic with (an injured) Slimani, just like he chose to pick Joselu and Gayle over Mitrovic.

      Your comment is a shambles.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        you aren`t quite all there, are you
        😂😂😂

        • Clarko

          Oh, so after commenting and then deleting the “idiot” comment you come back and make that comment. Why don’t you try and tell me what I said that was wrong?

          Dummy.

          • TheNutJob

            idiot
            😃😃

          • Leazes.

            Who? what?

        • Leazes.

          He certainly isn’t…. I blocked him months ago…. along with his brother…. bliss.

    • thewildchimp

      I’m on Benitez’ side ’bout the reinforcements needed, but 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 he got no good new players he decided to play Joselu as the first choice. That’s solely on him, Ashley doesn’t pick the players playing.

  • Philippines

    Same thoughts as many NUFC fans.

  • kingfisher

    All this attention for a player who has obviously found his level in The Championship. How many players does this happen to? Look at Dwight Gayle, we bought him off Palace ( a Prem club), and he scored loads of goals in the Championship, almost becoming the Championships leading overall goal scorer, yet he is unable to carry things forward and make the step up to the Prem. Why would Palace sell him if he could score goals in the Prem? the answer: the Championship is his level, and that’s not belittling him in any way it’s just a fact.

    Same as Joselu, why would Stoke sell a player who was capable of scoring in the Prem? same situation as Gayle, not good enough for the Premier League!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      well he did score 9 goals for us in the Premiership.

      • Geordiegiants

        It didn’t keep us up and he missed some howlers MMM. He like Gayle has found his level. The only difference between them is Gayle is always out injured and Mitro is always out suspended, it’s only a matter of time.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          that`s bollix about red cards, he hasn`t even had a yellow at Fulham.
          he didn`t get games last year because of Benitez & his petty grudges

          • Geordiegiants

            Just wait he will be sent off before the end of the season.
            Rafa made it clear at the start he didn’t like him or want him, which ever. He stuck to his guns and his decision rightly or wrongly. Rightly last season, but we will have to wait and see this season.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            Rafa was petty & Mitro wasn`t the only one to suffer.
            to play Joselu in front of him was criminal

          • Geordiegiants

            He had to give the Hoss a run to see if he could do it. He isn’t good enough so he has sacked him off now. He made his decision and stuck to it. Do we want a flaky manager like Pinocchio? Rafa knows what he wants, and what he wants to do and sticks to the plan, he like Ferguson doesn’t give a f about who is who player wise and cracks on, and as far as I can see it always works out for him.

          • mentalman

            Why rightly last season we got over the line with a whimper

          • Geordiegiants

            What??????????!!!
            We won the league!

          • 1957

            And didn’t get a chance this season because Benitez was determined to get rid of him and didn’t want him injured…Mitrovic will be back next season when Benitez is free to leave without compensating the club

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            the wouldn`t surprise me in the least

          • Lakeland Mag

            To help us in our next relegation fight campaign (assuming we’re not back in the Championship by then)

        • thewildchimp

          Sturridge, Kane, Mane, Salah, Aguero have all missed the entire goal from a 6-yard-box this season. Their teams should get rid of?

          Mitro also scored a goal outside of the box with three defenders in front of him a week ago – you can check it here on The Mag.

          • Geordiegiants

            In the championship!

      • Leazes.

        In how many seasons?

    • 1957

      On the evidence of his efforts for us I suspect the Championship is too high a level for the Hoss

    • thewildchimp

      Remember that Rafa didn’t want to sell Mitro under the same circumstances. Anyway, I answered to a similar post a bit above. I’m afraid it’s all down to Benitez and our CFs’ quality doesn’t matter that much. Anyone on The Mag could play there as a forward and it wouldn’t make a difference because he’d be isolated 70% of the time. If you have 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐰𝐨 𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐥 – you aren’t gonna score much. However, Benitez makes up brilliant set pieces plans, and that’s why we have defenders “high” up there on the score sheets.

      • Geordiegiants

        Rafa, Mourinho and Conte to name a few all play with similar tactics, and guess what?
        They are all winners.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Not to worry we`ve got the Hoss.

  • Rich Lawson

    Sounded great,until someone compared him to Viduka ?

    • Coach Clagnut

      Yeah, had a little chuckle at that one.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Mitro, i can take him or leave him but he was the best option we had up front.
    better than Hoss or Gayle

    • HarryHype59

      True, Mitro scored nine goals in his first EPL season. Does anyone think Hoss or Gayle will match that figure?

  • fistsofsteel2

    Wouldn’t it be karma if Fulham got promoted and kept Mitro, and Newcastle got relegated?
    Rafa’s pig headed refusal to play Mitro, and his tactics – which now include defending a one or two goal defeat for the sake of goal difference instead of attempting to score, are pathetic. And he employs the same tactics against all opposition – West Brom are treat with the same respect, and defensive tactics as Man City. Rafa may have been a decent manager years ago, but he’s lost it now.
    Rafa is taking a top salary, and taking the proverbial. This is a manager who sticks up for Joselu when EVERYONE knows Joselu is dross.

    Rafa out.

    • 1957

      I’ve never liked Benitez tactics, even last season when you could argue the ends justified the means. Watching Brighton yesterday should have been a eye opener for those of the Benitez persuasion that our players are so bad we have to defend at all times. Brighton players are no better than ours but their manager decided to give it a go and was able to defend a lead rather than keeping the scoreline down.

      • mentalman

        Rafa knows whatever happens he can blame Ashley and the majority of fans and media will go aling with it

        • 1957

          For me, if nothing else, he is guilty of demotivating the players already at the club with his continual bleating over how they aren’t good enough and he needs better players

          • Coach Clagnut

            Seems to me the players Rafa has would all run through a brick wall if he asked them to.
            We all know there is a quality issue overall but to suggest Rafa demotivates them is to deny the evidence of your own eyes.

          • 1957

            If you continually make statements that the players you have aren’t good enough and need replacing it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Some of the players we have will like him some probably won’t, all are better than they are showing regardless of if they are doing what the manager asks them. In the position we are in its about building players up not knocking them down, that’s how the managers who are classed as ‘relegation’ experts work getting more out of limited players.

          • Coach Clagnut

            He never directly knocks any of his players. Football teams evolve and managers are always looking to improve the overall quality in every position.
            It’s not a secret and it’s not exclusive to Benitez.
            Mourinho spent a boatload pre-season but regularly whines about needing new players. Ditto Conte & Guardiola. Klopp also recognises the need to add more quality in order to compete. To suggest Benitez does it to undermine his squad is disingenuous at best.
            If you aren’t looking to add quality and competition to the squad each and every season then you’re not doing your job.

          • pedrodelgardo

            i imagine he builds them up on a one to one basis, we are not party to the day to day management style that has the lads running through brick walls for him.

          • pedrodelgardo

            I have never seen a harder working team in 50 years of watching.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        without Rafa’s tactics we’d be south of West Brom.

        • 1957

          That’s one opinion another might be if he had been more adventurous/positive and not surrendered possession at home against the team’s around us in the league we might be sitting well clear of the relegation zone

        • fistsofsteel2

          On the contrary. I’d suggest Rafa’s negative tactics, team selections, and bizarre use of subs have probably cost us at least 10pts this season.

    • Viru leckworth

      Just like Alex Ferguson lost it? Get a grip?

    • anyobrien

      I’m not even going to bother.

  • TheFatController

    I see Patrick Bamford is scoring goals in the championship. Who’d have thought? Surely he’ll rip up the premier League if he ever gets the chance?

    Having seen Dwight Gayle last season and this, and countless other examples, i find it bizarre that anyone can think that scoring goals for a (the?) form team in the Championship is the clear signal you are a PL level striker.

    Evej someone like Grabban at Sunderland scores most weeks, and Bournemouth fans aren’t seeing that as a sign he’d rip up the Premier League ahead of King, Wilson, Defoe etc. They know it’s his level.

    • thewildchimp

      I have said from day one in the Championship that Gayle is perfect for that sort of environment, but isn’t gonna cut it in the Premier League because he can’t do much besides running into empty space and finishing. That sort of thing only works against dejected defences like Bournemouth’s in our last clash.

      Mitro is the missing link in our club, however our manager wants him to be like Harry Kane, but without Son, Ali and Erikson. Watch the latest MoD, where they explain why WBA was so poor on the attack against Watford. We have the same problem. We are always defending, never putting enough bodies forward. Even Joselu looks worse than he really is under the circumstances.

      Devalued Mitro is still worth as Gayle and Joselu combined on the market.

    • anyobrien

      Well put….

  • Mxpx

    Fulham fans are right they have our best striker

    • TheNutJob

      yes, they do

    • Leazes.

      for ‘best’ read ‘least worse’.

  • Natturner26

    The saddest thing was watching us play 10 men behind the ball against Liverpool with little Dwight leading the line. The tactics could have worked with a Big Serb to hoof it up to and hold up the ball. Rafa clueless.

    • Coach Clagnut

      I like Mitro both as a man and a footballer. He’s custom made for the rough and tumble of the 2nd division ( old money ) but he’s not smart enough for the top league.

      • Geordiegiants

        That’s exactly how I think of him, but I’m made out to be a hater. He simply isn’t good enough for the premier, he could float around the bottom half like Gayle does, but he’s the same just not quite good enough.

    • anyobrien

      I would of kept mitro myself . .but rafa clueless .. Really?

    • Desree

      Mitro is useless at holding the ball up. If that is what you want, Riviere was better

      • Natturner26

        That just isn’t true. He wins almost every ball up to him and lays it back with accurate passing, often resulting in switches of play that allow an attacking foray. It is smart football and partly accounts for why Fulham are unbeaten since he joined.

        We have Gayle who does nothing with it if he can latch onto it and Joselu who seems to believe the whole point of leading the line is getting his head onto balls with no care for where his head directs the balls.

        • Damon Horner

          Stats are there mate, he fails to control the ball more than any other Fulham player on average (or even Newcastle player when he played the season), he always features highly on the stats for being dispossessed, he has done less final third passes than Joselu on average and he is playing in an attacking side in a lower league.

          • Natturner26

            I watch all the Fulham matches he’s playing very well.

  • Graham Chapman

    I’m not prepared to criticise Rafa (yet) because the alternative would no doubt be horrendous, but it would be sods law if Fulham get promoted with Mitro and we go down. Can all the Rafa whingers suggest a better alternative? Nope, that’s because we don’t have the glamour stars that we used to have (too many to list….) Rafa is playing with the cards that he’s been given

    • Geordiegiants

      Like you say the alternative isn’t worth thinking about. In a sadistic way I’m looking forward to him walking out to see what all of these tossers say when we are sinking like the inbreds.

  • Damon Horner

    The Mag has a weird agenda here, we hear nothing of our other loan players but get updates regularly on Mitrovic because they know it causes a stir within the fanbase, anything for clicks I suppose.
    Reality. Mitrovic isn’t our player until the end of season, whether you agree with it or not. There is little point in discussing it until the end of the season because it can only be divisive and disruptive.
    Debate’s healthy but this one really is repetitive and open to individual opinion.

    • thewildchimp

      It would be the same if that was, let’s say, Mbemba. This kind of scenario would have happened in any other club, when the manager can’t find the answer for a position and a completely sidelined player performs well in another side.

      It’s not that Mitro scores some goals and puts some effort, no, he upped their game massively – they are beating the top teams of the league without problems at this point. Writers here should write about it, as they should write about all the positives that happen.

      Why Mitro from all of them, though? The answer is easy: out of them he was treated the worst and performs the best at this particular moment.

      • Coach Clagnut

        Treat worse than the ginger Pirlo? He’s also laying down a marker at Forest with the fans down there loving his contribution and wanting him permanently for next season.
        One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    • Leazes.

      He’s still updating us on Nile Ranger! Who cares!

    • Mxpx

      We hear about our loan players when they score goals Jack colback at his best is hardly ever going to be prolific there

    • anyobrien

      Agree

  • thewildchimp

    To all of the fans defending Benitez on this particular issue of loaning Mitrovic when we are desperate for goals and stability up front, I’ll give a simple explanation why I’m not buying into the “he plays with what he’s got” routine. Bear with me.

    I’m a bartender and sometimes we run out of ice because of miscalculations from the managers, even if we, the people performing the actual job, request it. What do we know, eh? So when that happens, we are almost unable to serve cocktails and harder liquor. However, we then go and communicate with the customers about our problem and try to find a solution that pleases them, whether it is their original order without the ice, something similar than can still be made in decent quality, something else they might wanted to try but never got to, something entirely different or, if they want to leave – so be it. With Benitez is like this: “We’ve got no ice, mate, only juices being served now. I don’t care if you are alright with your cheap whiskey neat, I said: juices only. You can pick from apple, orange and cranberry… Not me problem, mate, the staff here is dreadful.”

    It’s a bit of a [email protected] comparison but it’s a right one. You can play with the cards being dealt to you, or you can moan that you aren’t gonna get your royal flush now.

    • Leazes.

      The bar owner hasn’t been seen for months his phone is off the hook and his deputy is drunk on his self worth and hiding in the cellar, the punters are too rat-arsed to realise that the Mitrovic cocktail has no spirit in it and the replacement horse’s neck cocktail tastes like pi$$.

      • thewildchimp

        Been in worse, mate. :) The catch is whether you adapt to the circumstances or not.

    • Geordiegiants

      It’s a way of putting it over and it makes sense. The thing is, like I and plenty of others have said time and time again. Rafa doesn’t rate him, it’s his decision and not ours, if it were that simple Jabba would 100% take you or any other fan on as manger that came to a conclusion that Mitro was our saviour if that was the answer, it would save him £5/6m a year. I personally believe Rafa was right to give the Hoss his chance, the same as Mitro got plenty of chances, it didn’t work out but he had to try. For the record I think Mitro is no where near good enough for the premier League, but neither is the Hoss by any stretch.

      • thewildchimp

        Not our saviour, but we would nick a few points more with him in the squad for sure. It’s what we need at the moment.

        • Geordiegiants

          In equal measure he is as much a liability as he is a positive, so it all pretty much cancels things out for me.

          • thewildchimp

            Well, if we look at it that way, then Real Madrid’s greatest liability is Sergio Ramos, their skipper, who has accumulated 24 red cards in 15 years that he’s playing the game..

          • Geordiegiants

            Howare comparing Mitro to Ramos, give our Man!

    • Thom Ridley

      Rafa needs to drive to London and checks his tyres. His front tyre has a slow puncture. He can pump it up and gamble it won’t have a high speed blow out and kill him. Or he can put on the skinny half size spare that isn’t as good a tyre but he knows will get him there without a crash.

      Rafa for whatever reasons would rather not take the risk and wants to get there in one piece.Me, I would drive and risk the blow out. Sticking with this, at previous clubs Rafa would ask his chairman to get him a new proper tyre ASAP. Here mike Ashley has told him he can last on the spare a bit longer as the garage is shut.

  • Colin Brumwell

    He has to be better than Slimarcelino

  • Paul Patterson

    Sorry, classic example of a player finding his level..

    • Dave Pattinson

      Not going to criticise Benitez, he’s achieved more than me, but if Mitorvich is at home in a Championship side, playing to his strengths as Fulham seem to be doing, why wouldn’t Mitro feel at home in our side currently containing roughly 9 championship-standard players at any one time? He’s not a long-term option, but in our situation, given a run, could do something. Beggars can’t be…etc Think we might’ve missed a trick.

      • Paul Patterson

        Because we are playing Premiership teams. The Championship side Mitrovic is doing well in, isn’t . .

    • Mxpx

      Completely disagree mitrovic wasn’t prolific for us in the championship the difference is Fulham play to his strengths if we did then we could have had 10-15 goals from him this season and in a team at the sharp end I think he could manage 15-20

  • Desree

    Rafa will not be here in the summer. If he is we will be signing better players than Mitrovic.

    I’m not sure if people remember. But Rafa played Mitrovic for 6 games then dropped him for Cisse because he would play the way he wanted to.

    Rafa brought Mitrovic back for the last game. Effectively saying you are the man for next season, show me what you can do. So he assaults Kyle Walker needlessly and gets himself banned.

    We lose our first two games and everyone is under pressure.

    For anyone who has had to manage any team, you have to be a superstar to get away with Mitros behaviour.

  • anyobrien

    Rhodes, nugent, gayle all terrorised the championship,But never cut it in the epl. Or maybe gayle can who knows?
    I would of kept mitro myself as I think he’s better than what we have but not sure he’s the answer… Investment was needed in a top flight striker but we all know the answer to that one.

    • Geordiegiants

      Well the standard of forward in the epl is measured easily. Look at how good Clark was last season.

    • Desree

      If slimani had played and scored a couple then there would be no debate. But as per, we get lumbered with strikers not fit for the PL or just not fit. At least sturridge managed a few minutes.