Rafa Benitez challenged Aleksandar Mitrovic to go out and score 20 goals or more when leaving on loan at the end of February.
Well, in these past four months he has now scored 17 goals for club and country, despite only starting 22 games.
The latest goalscoring exploits saw Mitro score his first ever hat-trick on Saturday night, a 5-1 friendly win over Bolivia as the Newcastle striker scored three and made one in the 70 minutes he spent on the pitch.
Mike Ashley was reported to be demanding over £15m for Aleksandar Mitrovic last summer, with Rafa Benitez having no interest in playing him.
After only four goals and eleven starts in the Championship season, little wonder there were no takers.
What would have been a realistic price for the Serbian striker in January after not a single league start all season?
That is the past though and now Fulham fans are really panicking as to whether they have any chance now of landing him on a permanent deal.
Newcastle fans may also be worrying because if money from selling players is key to Rafa’s budget for recruiting those signings he wants to make, what astronomic price will Mike Ashley put on Mitro now.
Then just imagine if he does well at the World Cup…
Comments from Fulham fans via various message boards:
‘That hat-trick puts another few million on the price.
If we did have an option to get him we should have paid £20m before the World Cup and £80k per week wages….cheap at that price.
However, I think the deal is complicated by Jokanovic failure to commit his future to us….Mitrovic will only want to come to Fulham if Jokanovic stays, which is understandable.
The Jokanovic situation is hampering our progress in the transfer market and this market is difficult ….World Cup, shorter window, stepping up a level etc.’
‘What a goal, hat-trick.’
‘Yes its against Bolivia but that shouldn’t matter.
He has passion, skills and the ability to hold up the ball. Just hope the price doesn’t go crazy silly.’
‘He’s a player that just wants to be loved.’
‘Agree, and the more he feels loved the more he gives on the pitch.’
‘Really were 3 good goals with the last a curler top corner from outside the penalty area.
Will we keep him at this rate?’
‘Imagine his fee be even bigger after The World Cup.’
‘We’ll never be able to afford him now. What a #9!’
‘I suspect there will be two ‘large’ signings in terms of transfer fee amongst a number of relatively modest ones. Mitro should be one of them.’
‘CALM DOWN MITRO ……….That third goal will have the scouts from all over the world wetting themselves.
Newcastle must be rubbing their hands…from selling reject at 11 million to have frenzied bidding at 25 million.’
‘Mitro just added 5 million to his value I am afraid, just watch (watch Mitro’s hat-trick HERE) his third goal from his hat trick today.’