Damning World Cup statistic highlighted for Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic went into the World Cup full of confidence.
The Newcastle striker top scorer in the group as Serbia comfortably qualified for the finals in Russia.
The 12 goals for Fulham at better than a goal every two games as he spearheaded them to promotion at Wembley in the play-off final.
A hat-trick in the final World Cup warm-up match against Bolivia, the scene was set.
There was no shortage of confidence from Mitro, much of his build up play was excellent and his interplay with teammates impressing a lot of the time.
However, one statistic stands out a mile.
In the final analysis after Serbia’s exit on Wednesday night, the fact is that Aleksandar Mitrovic had a massive 14 shots in this World Cup and scored only the once.
As his country’s main source of goals, their chances of progressing were always going to largely stand on whether the former Anderlecht striker could convert.
The first group game against Costa Rica saw Mitrovic fail to convert two excellent chances, Kolarov sparing his blushes with a superb free-kick for a 1-0 win.
Against Switzerland he had an excellent game and scored a very good header early on. No real sitters missed but a number of half-chances not converted, Switzerland punishing Serbia for not converting their first half superiority into a bigger lead and coming back to win 2-1.
Wednesday night against World Cup favourites Brazil, once again Aleksandar Mitrovic did a good job for his team in general play but when the key moments came, he was fund wanting.
He headed the ball straight at Brazil defender Miranda after Alisson had flapped at a cross, the goal gaping with no goalkeeper and only that one defender to head it past. Serbia were well on top at that point and an equaliser could have changed the game.
That was quickly followed by a quality right wing cross which Mitrovic could only head straight at Alisson from eight yards out and the chance was gone, along with Serbia’s hopes.
That proved to be Mitro’s 14th and final shot of these World Cup finals.
He can look back on a decent World Cup campaign but one that could have been so much more.
That moment in the Switzerland game when he was dragged down by two Swiss defenders was of course a disgrace with no penalty given BUT Mitro did still have enough good/very good chances to have not needed intervention by VAR.
He is what he is, as evidenced by this World Cup.
A good striker, sometimes capable of being very good, but not a natural goalscorer.
In today’s world/market that makes him a £20m striker and arguably as good as Newcastle can expect to get at this moment in time.
No doubt arguments will continue to rage between Newcastle fans as to his suitability, as Mitrovic has given plenty of ammunition for both sides on his Russian adventure.
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