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Fulham fans ask ‘What was Rafa Benitez thinking…?’

12 months ago
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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.’

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