One of the main Rafa Benitez worries regarding the suitability of Aleksandar Mitrovic for his Newcastle system is a perceived lack of mobility and stamina.

Yet Slavisa Jokanovic thinks the Newcastle manager has got this wrong about the Serbian striker.

The Fulham boss was far from happy as his loan striker went off on international duty and ended up playing all 90 minutes of both friendlies.

Serbia losing 2-1 to Morocco and then two Mitro goals helping his country to a 2-0 victory against Nigeria.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was straight back into action on Friday as he helped Fulham win 2-0 at Norwich, playing all but the final 12 minutes.

Then Tuesday night saw the forward make it eight goals for Fulham in his last eight games as he played all of the 2-0 win over Leeds.

Over the course of an 11 day stretch Mitrovic played four matches for club and country and physically looked in great shape.

The Fulham manager was very pleased with Mitro after that victory over Leeds and says ‘I repeat man times Aleksandar Mitrovic is an important signing for us.’

Jokanovic adding ‘He has done a great job for us…worked hard in the offensive and defensive set-pieces.’

He then summed up though what is the reality for any forward: ‘What is important is that we start our striker and he scores the goals.’

Thankfully, Aleksandar Mitrovic back playing and scoring goals for another club has coincided with an upsurge in Newcastle’s form, so it is a win win situation all round.

The future of Newcastle’s number 45 is just one of the many many interesting  issues that will be decided this summer at St James Park.

Mitro also got an assist for the first goal against Leeds as well as scoring himself, with Fulham now having picked up 27 points from a possible 33 in the games Aleksandar Mitrovic has featured in – three draws and eight wins.

This has ensured at least a play-off spot for Fulham and with six games to go they still have some hope of catching Cardiff, currently five points ahead in the second automatic promotion spot.

Slavisa Jokanovic:

“Aleksandar Mitrovic is good player, he has done a great job for us.

“I repeat many times, Aleksandar Mitrovic is an important signing for us.

“He scored another goal [in the 2-0 win over Leeds] and worked hard in the offensive and defensive set-pieces.

“He can hold the ball, he did important things, and at the end, what is important is that  we start our striker and he scores the goals.

“He did his job and I expect he will keep going at a similar level to push hard like he is right now.”



  • TheFatController

    If mitro is now much fitter with stamina and mobility, why does that mean Rafa has it wrong?

    Doesn’t it mean that by leaving him out of the side for not working on stamina and mobility. Rafa has taught him to be professional and work on his stamina and mobility?

    Anyone who has managed people to develop them knows some won’t improve unless they see the light. Rafa has given mitro a tough lesson to learn.

    If mitro has improved, that’s proving Rafa right, because he needed to improve his discipline on the field and off it, and get fit and stop being side tracked by feuding with the opposition.

    Sadly for the Rafa critics. Mitro’s success at Fulham in being fitter and better disciplined shows Rafa has managed him well, not missed his talent due to some petty vendetta. Not everyone is petty…

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Another load of Bollix,
      he`s on Rafa`s schitt list & has been for 2 years there can be no other explanation for him being sidelined whilst the Hoss gets 21 starts.

      • TheFatController

        Well, given our current form I don’t worry too much about who is on the manager’s lists of anything.

        The ones on his non-Schitt list are doing the business so if you want to invest your anger and angst into the fact Mitro didn’t get put in ahead of Joselu feel free.

        Nothing better than seeing your rival’s blood pressure go up as Rafa has all the power on who plays and you have precisely zero power.

        Unlucky.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          you must be happy with the mediocrity under the Fat Lad
          to many idiots like you around,

          • TheFatController

            I’m sorry, you’re attempts at shaming me are water off a duck’s back. If you want to call me an idiot I’m fine with that. In all honesty, sometimes I may be an idiot. Often I’m not. Perhaps escalate your shaming and see if you can actually hit a nerve. Should be good…perhaps throw in a little threat?

            I recognise the Fat Lad’s influence has led to mediocrity, so much so that many fans think Mitrovic is the type of player we should have up front. Now that’s a wish based in mediocrity if ever I heard one.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            I`m making the point that he play`s rubbish like Joselu in front of Mitrovich, if you think that`s ok fair enough & by the way i`ve never stated he`s the answer to our attacking problems.
            take your head out of your a $$ to read this

          • TheFatController

            You called me and others idiots and now I’m the bad guy? How do you get on in life ?

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            Chill out, we all support Newcastle & have different opinions
            😂😂

          • TheFatController

            No, it’s no good now saying ‘hey we’re all in this together even when I call you idiots’

            You’re backtracking. Making out you’re not labeling people.

            You can’t say ‘we all have different opinions’ as if you’re some fair-minded sort when a few posts back you claim there’s ‘too many idiots on here’.

            Your actions before don’t match your words after.

          • Wor Monga

            It’s well known what his opinions are…Joselu is just the latest in a long line… and a few months ago it was Diame who should be got rid of as being not worth the shirt…before that Dummett held top spot as just a lumbering carthorse…then there was Lascelles (rubbish compared to Mbemba) for most of last season…hey at the rate he’s going Joselu could be another Salah by the end of the season!!!

          • Damon Horner

            True, Captain Clot quickly became Captain Fantastic. Should just take some of these opinions with a pinch of salt.

          • Wor Monga

            50,000+ at the last count…out and willing to support the team through thick and thin, and not even wasting a minute of it thinking of that fat git…that seems to be left to those, like yourself, who look for any excuse not to go, IMO!!!

        • mentalman

          manquillo and joselu are doing the business?

          • TheFatController

            What are you smoking? They’re not in the team. I didn’t refer to them, so why are you?

            Does your brain tell you ‘ he hasn’t mentioned manquillo and Joselu but if I do I can attack him for mentioning them…’

            Are you so desperate you need to make up what people say to criticize them. That’s bizarre.

          • mentalman

            you mentioned joselu in your comment.

            manquillo is regularly on the bench so obviously isn’t on the schitt list and yet has been one of our weakest players throughout the season and quite obviously isn’t doing the business

          • TheFatController

            You seem incapable of reading something straightforward without twisting it to read what your subconscious would like to see…

          • mentalman

            You said the players not on rafa’s schitt list are doing the business, i merely questioned whether you believed two plays not on his schitt list were doing the business

            i read it and replied to which you seem incapable of replying to in a mature manner.

        • thewildchimp

          You having hots for Rafa, mate? He’s married and football’s his only mistress, you know… But don’t worry, if you need a hairy crying shoulder, we, the “pro-Mitro” brigade, will always be there for you.

          • TheFatController

            I’m pro Mitro, he’s done fairly well for us given his youth, needs to mature now as that’s make him better, sadly not quicker.

            I just think people should be honest and say they have anger issues, manifesting as a pre occupation with Rafa’s excluding an immature, unpredictable regular championship scorers or out high pressure, defensive necessity tactic games in the PL.

            We’re mid table and yet some on here want to dwell on the only negative they can find about the whole coaching set up.

            Think about it. We’re almost safe yet there’s a huge problem with one player that in January had Anderlecht, Fulham and Brighton after him.

            At any other club it’s be a non-issue, yet here some are making it an issue, even mitro seems to accept the tactical reason behind his ommission this season, yet some supporters insist it’s all nasty vicious plot against an ok Serbian striker. Bizarre.

            Addicted to the drama, as black eyed peas once sang.

      • Jezza

        “there can be no other explanation for him being sidelined”

        What about Mitrovic being close to making a set number of appearances for Newcastle that will trigger an additional instalment on his transfer fee from Anderlecht?

        • Wor Lass

          I dont know if you came across “toonfan1950” on the Chronic, Jezza, but he was the king of conspiracy theorists. You`re close to claiming his crown, mate.

          • Jezza

            Yes you also said that about me when I first said Slimani was on a pay per play deal at the beginning of February before you eventually came round to what I was saying. Call me a conspiracy theorist all you want simply because I don’t believe all the propaganda that comes out of the Ashley camp but just you wait and see what happens with Mitrovic. He will not play for Newcastle again. He will be sold in the summer even if Rafa has already left the club first.

          • mentalman

            you also said kenedy would be our only token signing in january

          • Wor Lass

            To be fair, Jezza, I didn`t disagree that he was on a pay per play deal (that would be sensible when signing an injured player) but that he wouldn`t play at all and was only signed to shut people up and save money. He has, in fact played now. Don`t get me wrong, I detest Fatty and think he`s capable of any conceivable low-life, money-grabbing trick. I just think that you OVERthink it at times, that`s all.

          • Jezza

            It took Slimani two months to play. That’s two months in which Newcastle didn’t fork out a penny in wages. If that’s not money saved I don’t know what is. They could have signed Daniel Sturridge on loan, he was the player Rafa wanted but he wasn’t available on a pay per play deal so they signed Slimani instead and he was most definitely “only signed to shut people up and save money”.

            Back in the late 80’s I used to talk to Newcastle United directors on a regular basis so I have got a good insight into how these things work. Believe me Mitrovic will not be the first player to be shipped out of Newcastle United or any other club for that matter to avoid an additional instalment on a transfer fee. In any case is that theory really any more outlandish than the one that says Rafa Beintez is a useless manager who couldn’t see that a striker who struggled in the Championship last season was guaranteed to score 30 plus goals in the Premiership?

          • mentalman

            how do you know we haven’t paid him any wages in 2 months?

            Sturridge turned us down as he wanted to move home

            Football has moved on a lot in 30 odd years

            We won’t be the first or last team to sell a player before additional payments are due to be payed and do you know for a fact that these additional payments actually exist

          • Wor Lass

            The jury`s definitely out on whether Mitro could make it in the PL – and a large part of the reason he hasn`t had the chance is down to his own lack of discipline – but I would like to find out with him playing for us rather than Fulham. As for Rafa, he has proved himself right often enough for me to put my hand up and accept his decisions at the end of the day. I suppose being so single-minded and confident in his own judgement is part of what makes him so successful.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            😂😂

    • ghostrider

      By all means give the messiah all the plaudits if that’s how you see it but the reality is, Mitrovic was clearly overlooked by Rafa.
      The proof is in him willing to drop a league to play for a manager who appreciates him. Rafa didn’t and playing Joselu consistently and even Gayle, who’s confidence looked shot to pieces, yet choosing to let Mitrovic fester.

      If Mitrovic had burgeld Rafa’s house or peed in his pre match meal or something then I could well understand it.
      Professionally wise and in football terms,Rafa didn’t deal with Mitrovic in the correct way.
      There’s managing and there’s coaching but there’s also something that is equally as powerful as both put together and that’s MAN-MANAGEMENT.

      Rafa failed with Mitrovic and seems to use excuses for it, yet the real proof is in the pudding.
      However, it’s pointless crying over spilt milk as we are in no shape to do anything about it and we seem to be close to managing without him….just.

      I just imagine what excitement he could have brought in him bullying defenders and scoring a few this season…but imagine is all it will be.

      • TheFatController

        No, you are right, Rafa needs to improve his man management skills.

        My mistake, I’m corrected by your highly factual assertion that all Mitro needs is a good man manager.

        Maybe one day, we can return to the days of the man management skills of a Pardew or a MacLaren. Til then we’ll just have to stick with the players playing for themselves despite despising Rafa and his poor man management skills.

        It’s also no wonder people like Malcolm Macdonald and Alan Shearer, who have been critical of mitro, are not managers either. Criticising someone for not doing the right things is poor man management yes.

        Well spotted, I hadn’t seen the man management flaw in Rafa.

        • mentalman

          many of rafa’s old players have criticised his man management skills

          • Damon Horner

            Some will, Zlatan didn’t like Pep, Ferguson fell out famously with Beckham and Stam. Rafa doesn’t account for status/reputations, focuses on the football side of things and addresses minor details in performances before praising worldies. Gerrard understood it could be the difference in success, Hamsik and the like didn’t.

          • TheFatController

            That’ll be why he’s had no success then? Perhaps you should consult top managers on their man management ?

            Become a top man managementer ?

        • ghostrider

          Glad to help.

        • Viru leckworth

          Malcolm Macdonald was a manager – ironically at Fulham where he did a canny job for a while.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        😂😂

      • East Durham Mag

        Gosh perhaps you should be Newcastle United manager your clearly infinitely more qualified for the job than Rafa. 🙄

        • ghostrider

          Nice of you to say so but I’m just a fan giving my opinions….just like you.

      • Lakeland Mag

        Speculation is all it will be. Mitrovic is doing well playing for a Championship side in the Championship, and good for him. That is not proof he would have been as effective for us in the Premiership. Should he have been given more of a chance by Rafa…..possibly, but would we have definitely been better off with him playing,… no-one can say that, it’s just speculation and personal opinion, so banging on about it every time Mitro has a good game for another lower league club is pointless. The facts we do know are 1) Mitro is doing well playing in a lower league 2) He’s not coming back to us this season so whatever he’s doing at Fulham at the moment is totally irrelevent to Newcastle for the rest of this season 3) Newcastle are doing ok at the moment, in 12th place and looking reasonably well placed to stay up, so Rafa’s “mistake” at loaning Mitro out is proving to be inconsequential. Let’s just get the season over with, and we can return to the Mitrovic situation in the summer.

        • ghostrider

          The mitrovic situation is what it is and all we can do is talk about it.
          The whole point of the mag is to discuss things. That’s what we’re all doing regardless of who’s thinks who’s correct or wrong or a looney or whatever names are bandied about .

          Of course we don’t know what Mitro would have done we can just speculate on what he could have or couldn’t have done.

          However, the argument still stands in a form foundation of Joselu and Gayle being chosen over Mitrovic when he was here. It’s almost criminal, unless there was some underlying legitimate reason for continuing to drop him and don’t forget he done it in the championship as well, so the argument that he’s found his level is not valid, is it?

          • Lakeland Mag

            But we’re talking about the same old thing week after week. It really doesn’t matter anymore what’s going on with Mitro at Fulham. It has no bearing on what is happening at Newcastle now. Perhaps if we were wallowing in the bottom three and odds on for relegation the absence of Mitrovic from the Newcastle team and his success playing in the Championship might have more meaning, but we’re not, and therefore at the moment it doesn’t. The Mitro debate will become relevant again at the end of the season, when decisions have to be made regarding the players future, and whether that future will be (or should/should not be) with Newcastle. His time and achievements at Fulham should perhaps be looked at then, but for now its irrelevant. I know it won’t stop the pro-Mitro, anti-Rafa brigade from banging the same old drum week after week for the next seven or eight weeks, but it just feels more and more like a “grasp at any opportunity to have a go at Benitez” situation now. For my part, I’ll focus on who we have now, and what they’re doing on the pitch now, and how that affects my club now, and consider the bigger picture at the end of the season.

          • ghostrider

            I’m focusing on what we have now. I always focus on what we have at any point in time, like you and 99.9% of Newcastle fans.
            But talking points do not just go away.
            If you’re bored talking about it then you have the option of doing just that but you’re choosing to debate it right now whilst saying it.

            You’re entitled to that,of course, but in doing so you are actively taking part with your stance as I am with mine that does not fit your mindset and most likely irritates you to think that some fans have a pop at Rafa when you believe he’s like a Mary Poppins, possibly.

            Regardless of us doing ok in scraping out of the relegation trapdoor, it still rankles with me as to the way Mitrovic and other players were thrown into the cold when they could have aided in a more comfortable season.
            I say COULD because it’s not a given and unless there’s a legitimate explanation as to the way they were treated then Rafa goes down in my estimation in terms of man-management, because there’s more to football squads than just easy manageable blue-eyed boys.

          • Damon Horner

            Agreed. Not something which will influence us now, not something that fans will ever agree on, too many variables to even consider, team without him has generally done the business without getting the credit they’ve earned. Think some of our fans need to re-establish the support for the team.

    • mentalman

      Perhaps Fulham tailored Mitro’s training to suit him and this led to the improvement in his stamina and mobility, perhaps rafa was right and he needed to leave to do this. We’ll never know.

      • TheFatController

        I’m pretty certain the fitness team at Newcastle know how to get someone fit.

        Fitness is about attitude, as every club can give you the tools and guidance, you just have to be motivated.

        I don’t know, but it’s seems to me Rafa told the whole squad, and not just mitro, that attitude is everything. We’ve seen what happened between Lascelles and Diame over attitude. Rafa is raising standards,

        I have no doubt the one person wanting Mitro to raise his abs who would be glad if he has at Fulham would be Rafa.

    • Mike Adam

      Just because we disagree with one decision a manager makes doesn’t mean we are Rafa critics!!!

  • Damon Horner

    I don’t read that as a dig at his parent club? The Mag are far too happy to divide the fans with this.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      It isn`t, he`s just stating the facts

      • Damon Horner

        True, he is, they’ve needed a natural striker all season. There is no hidden messages though to me indicating Rafa made a mistake which is what the headline says.

        • Wor Lass

          In my opinion, he has, Damon. He made a mistake in not playing him at a time when we just couldnt score goals and he made a mistake in sending him out on loan. I don`t say that to have a go at Rafa because he`s paid to make decisions and we won`t all agree with every one he makes. Also, as the article says, we have done well since he went and are now virtually safe.

          • Damon Horner

            I know opinions will vary and all opinions are respected, I don’t think it’s worth discussing really because IF a mistake was made then it was a small and inconsequential one based largely on a fan opinion which could apply to all players, where does it let up? The whole thing for me has been over-stated. I just think the headline is provocative for something not actually said by Jokanovic.

          • Wor Lass

            Yes, it`s provocative but that`s the stock-i-trade for any journalist – even on the Mag.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            It wasn`t a mistake, it was a deliberate act to get a player out who`s on the schitt list & earning £60 grand a week

          • Mike Adam

            Exactly Wor that is and has been our only issue.

        • Mike Adam

          Not hidden Damon, but the obvious mistake in my opinion has and always will be that the two strikers Rafa played match after match did not score and he had another option on the bench that he would not give a chance to. That is the point that most of us who trumpet the opinion that Mitro should have been given a run and that Rafa made a mistake in not doing so have. That is it, we are not against Rafa because of that opinion and don’t deserve the backlash we get from those who are always defending Rafa’s side of the issue.

          • Damon Horner

            Think you’ve lost the context mate. Jokanovic made no reference to us or Rafa so why has The Mag addressed it like he has? That’s the point I made. Debate won’t be settled on the Mitrovic score and frankly we’ve shown we didn’t need him playing which is why more faith in the manager should be shown, hard on Mitro but the club’s all that matters.

          • Mike Adam

            We did need him in the first half, that is and always will be my point. It turned out that overall we didn’t you are correct, but that still doesn’t mean that Rafa was correct in not playing Mitro in the first half when the strikers he played every week did not score. I know I sound like a broken record, but that is the only point I have ever tried to make concerning Mitro, Rafa, the other strikers and whether he should have been given a run out. The hell with the Mag, the writers and others.

          • Damon Horner

            it mirrors Riviere. Mitrovic scored 4 goals from open play for McClaren when we played Bournemouth, so he dropped him for Riviere. Do you back that decision?

          • Mike Adam

            I would have to go back and look at it to be honest. But it really has nothing to do with the first half of this year.
            If there had been a long stretch of play that Mitro did not score in, then sure I would support any manager trying another striker he had on his roster. That is the basis of my argument Damon. Two strikers played for half a season and almost no production from either! That is what Rafa did not do, give that other striker(Mitro) a run, instead he kept sending the same srikers out match after match expecting different results. Hell, he even gave Saviet a start!
            Sure I rate Mitro, but if he produced as Joselu or Gayle did in half a season I certainly wouldn’t expect him to keep playing without the manager trying an alternative striker.
            The sad part is just because I question Rafa about a few decisions some people act like I attack him, but that is my right as a fan just as it is yours to disagree with my opinion.
            It is crazy how some people jump down the throats of anyone who dares to question Rafa. And frankly I really don’t care, I will continue to state my opinions, that is what these forums are for. Honestly some on both sides of the issues should treat others with more respect, and some who constantly insult and call names should grow up!

          • Damon Horner

            They are similar situations though. First choice striker underperforming, team underperforming,, untried reserve played as an alternative. McClaren got hammered. The response since then has been great, he learned a lot about some of the players and some like Joselu have hardly featured. We are looking safe and comfortable. surely credit needs to be given for that?

  • Paul Patterson

    Mitrovic doesn’t run the line like a striker that Rafa wants will. End of.
    However there is no excuse for the quality (?) of Joselu . .

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      you`ve hit the nail on the head, so why play Hoss & loan out Mitrovic to be replaced by a Gimp

      • Paul Patterson

        Joselu can run the line (CAN) regardless of his quality. Mitrovic can’t. He’d be knacked after 20 minutes doing what Joselu and Gayle do.
        Can’t defend not keeping him for the back end of games/if we’re losing though . .

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          you must of missed the report the other night where he was
          MOTM for 1 assist 1 goal and defending at corners & set pieces,
          he`s fit as a butchers dog

          • Paul Patterson

            Alan Shearer was our best defender in his latter years and a cracking target man, despite being slow.
            Mitrovic has uses, but being dynamic isn’t one of them for me.
            If Rafa get’s a dynamic Thierry Henry style striker who will run the line and be clinical in the summer, all our current strikers will be quickly forgotten . .

          • Damon Horner

            Joselu is surely just a stop gap. I think you’re right though, I’m guessing Rafa would rather have a Firmino than a Morata, top goalscorers aren’t important here as long as we get enough goals to get results.

          • mentalman

            your right about forgetting about the current strikers next season and it won’t be hard with the quality of the 4 of them but in the hear and now this season i think rafa has made a mistake not giving mitro more of a chance.

            Mitro couldn’t have done what Joselu was doing but he would have scored us more goals and when Joselu was defending we were still losing largely due to a lack of goals

          • Mike Adam

            Exactly, only goals can get you 3 points!!! We were shut out 12 times and scored a single goal 12 more times yet Mitro was never given a run this season, draw your own conclusions.

          • Rich Lawson

            Does seem to have got over that ”back injury” well ?

    • thewildchimp

      I think Mitro does it better but, yes, not in the way Benitez prefers. The main problem with Gayle and Hoselu is that defenders by now know they probably won’t score. So they can push forward. Slimani got in, stretched the unprepared defence, Kenedy and Perez exploited the gap, 3 points, thank you very much! That’s a proper striker.

  • Wor Monga

    Good the Fulham boss is happy with him, and that’s fine…he’s now playing in a team that is used to playing around the top end of the Championship, and being around the play off places several times in a row, but for us last season, on goals scored he was only comparable with Murphy and not much better than Ayoze, but his disciplinary record was terrible, and made him totally unreliable for any team attempting to get out of that division at the first attempt…

    …most of the clips of his goals that I’ve seen for Fulham have been scored for a side that is well on top of the opposition with several of their forwards knocking the ball around in the penalty box, and defenders standing off him, at the time…that has never been the case with us in the PL this season…it’s more
    likely he would be a lot more isolated playing up front be a lot more tightly marked, and once again be over aggressive again in his challenges to win the fewer number of passes intended for him…

    …We’ll just have to wait and see if any PL clubs come in for him, and how much they are prepared to pay…keeping in mind that not a lot of the free scoring strikers of the Championship ever seem to do the same in the higher level!!!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Fake News,
      he doesn`t seem to have any disciplinary problems at Fulham

      • TheFatController

        Not fake news, because the comment is ‘his disciplinary record was terrible…’

        ‘Was’ – past tense. In the past. Not now, when at Fulham.

        But you keep taking the context out of things to make your point. If it works for you.

    • thewildchimp

      His disciplinary record was alright last season. You are probably referring to his debut season 15/16.
      Rafa has started laying sieges, against Southampton (partially) and Huddersfield (fully), I think Kenedy and Dubravka had made him less tense. So things might, hopefully, change. It’s far more interesting to watch.

      • Wor Monga

        The lad had issues from the word go for us, and these things hang around with referees…he didn’t start the season because of these issues, and we lost games, but Gayle did and scored goals…

        …Rafa went with 1 striker Gayle was there when needed…Mitrovic wasn’t, and Gayle went on to score 23 goals…EOS!!!

        • thewildchimp

          As for Gayle being our 1st choice last season – I stand behind it fully. This season… Not a chance.

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Gayle is mentally killing himself. He needs to snap out of it. He CAN score at this level if he gets composed and his head right. Hes getting in the positions just not taking them. It will eventually click. Fortunately the pressure will ease on him a bit now but Slimani is now in the hunt so its going to be interesting.

            At the moment its win win all around for the toon. If West Ham want to offer over £20m for Mitrovic I would take it only and only if funds are made available to pump into it and get us a £40m+ striker and the ability to get a number 10 as well. We are a solid looking team now we just need to be more lethal up top.

          • 1957

            I appreciate your logic but I doubt we’ll see a £40m+ striker, even with £20m for Mitrovic… maybe a striker and a 10 for £20m.

  • Arty Hume

    IMHO it would be a tragedy if we sold Mitro now, I dont know how long his contract is for but he has obviously matured in the last year. All Rafa needs to say is Mitro was loaned out for developmental reasons and has progressed due to that loan arrangement, now he will be re evaluated in the team and we will play to his strengths as the team has developed also. This would save us a load of money and save face, if it did not work out there is always the window next January. The world cup will dictate his value for next season. Can you imagine if he was one of the top scorers and we had sold him for 15m???? Only the toon under the fat one could get it this wrong.

    • NUFCDan

      Regardless of what Rafa may or may not think (and none of us know what has gone on) one thing for certain is if someone bids for him, as one of our few appreciating assets and one of our highest earners, Fatty will sell him in a heartbeat. So all a bit irrelevant really..

      • Arty Hume

        So said the voice of reason??? We will just have to wait and see….;)

    • 1957

      Some contributors to the Mitrovic debate on this site advocated that he was sold for whatever we could get for him. Thankfully someone in the club had some common sense, a couple of goals and decent performances in the world cup and his value will go up appreciably it happened with Sissoko in the Euro’s.

    • TheFatController

      In fairness, I don’t think we can criticise the ownership on that one, much as I hate Ashley, I commend the £100m they got for Carroll, sissoko, cabaye and debuchy.

      • Mrkgw

        Really? Where is the cash then? What’s to commend? It wasnt invested in players thats for sure.

  • Rich Lawson

    Good to know he’s got over the ”back injury” so well,but at the end of the day he is still an NUFC player.

  • Dexter Cousins

    Respect to Rafa, if you cross him there is no coming back. I think it is essential especially with the lack of discipline in modern day footballers that Rafa sticks to his guns. Mitrovic isn’t playing because Rafa doesn’t trust him. Mitro blew his chances and Rafa will never give him a road back. He doesn’t want Mitro at the club.
    I can’t understand why we keep debating. Rafa is as stubborn as Ashley.
    Mitro and Pardew or Rafa. Which would you prefer?

    • Mrkgw

      Mitro