Aleksandar Mitrovic has played 13 times at Fulham and helped produce ten wins and three draws.
As well as leading the line well and getting a lot of praise for his workrate and all-round contribution, the striker has also done his main/proper job, scoring nine goals.
There will no doubt be the same divide amongst the same Newcastle fans on either side of the argument, as to whether if Rafa had kept and played Mitro, the Serbian cold have scored goals and NUFC could potentially have done even better with him in the team, after Dubravka and Kenedy gave such a boost after arriving in January.
What can’t be denied, is that you can’t ignore Aleksandar Mitrovic, even in nine months without a league start for Newcastle he was talked about at least as much as any other NUFC player.
As Fulham at last overhauled Cardiff this midweek, the Welsh club’s boss pointed to the player who had made the big difference and potentially may be the final piece in the Cottagers’ promotion puzzle:
“The striker [Aleksandar Mitrovic] they got on loan has been the best signing in the whole league.
“That is what they’ve been missing for the past few years and all credit to them.”
The Newcastle loan star has been speaking to Sky Sports ahead of this weekend when the broadcaster is showing live their home match with Brentford, at Saturday teatime.
It obviously still hurts him that things haven’t worked out at Newcastle, so far, he doesn’t totally rule out staying at the club – but the chances must be slim. Unless of course Mike Ashley once again prices the forward out of a permanent move elsewhere.
Mitrovic says he would never regret coming to Newcastle but does regret not getting more games and not scoring ‘more goals’ when he was playing.
Like all strikers, confidence is a big factor and once again Mitro comes back to that, saying how with Fulham boss Jokanovic ‘It comes down to faith, trust and game-time’.
Whether Rafa was right or not in his dealings with Aleksandar Mitrovic, you certainly can’t fault the striker for his reaction to being sidelined for so long/so often, never once did he come out in the media and try to cause trouble.
For Newcastle supporters who are both fans of Mitro and those who aren’t, it will be an interesting next three or four months as we watch from afar to see what happens with Fulham, then in Russia, and finally where he will be playing next season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic speaking to Sky Sports:
“I really enjoy the way the team [Fulham] plays and the players that they have, it is a good style and a good team for me. I think it’s a good team for any striker.
“I thought I could enjoy this style and I’m really happy to be on the pitch and scoring goals to try to do the best that I can to help the team achieve what we want from this season.”
“I would never say I regret that I was there, but I have regret because I didn’t play as much as I could and maybe I should have scored more goals.
“There are a lot of things I wanted to do there that I didn’t do, so of course I have regret, but I still enjoyed my time there and I’m still a Newcastle player so we will see what happens.”
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic?
“He was a big player in Serbia and now he’s one of the best managers Serbia have.
“He looks tough but he’s a real gentleman and a really nice guy.
“It comes down to faith, trust and game-time, that’s important if you are a striker. I could tell that he felt confidence in me. If you really feel trust from the manager, it’s much easier to play. That’s what I feel now. I know that he believes in me and I know what he wants from me. “
“I am very competitive and I want to win every game.That’s my way.
“That’s how I have played all my life. It’s how I see football and that’s it. I’m a winner and I will try to do everything to win the game.
“I made some silly mistakes but I have tried to learn from my mistakes. It’s not always possible to channel the anger in the right way but I try to stay focused on the team and to do my job. That is to stay on the pitch and to score goals, to assist, to create space.
“I need my passion but I have to control it. I try to use it on the goal and on the team.”
“I am 100% focused on Fulham and the upcoming games.
“I hope we get promoted, then I will have the World Cup, then I will need to rest a little bit, then we will see what happens…
“But I am 100% with my head here and I want to give back to Fulham because they gave me the chance to come here, play games and be part of this beautiful club, I will do everything I can to help the team get promoted.”