Aleksandar Mitrovic concluded a very successful loan spell at Fulham last weekend.

His 20 appearances for Fulham bringing 15 wins and just two defeats, with three draws.

The 20th game was the 1-0 win over Aston Villa that confirmed promotion to the Premier League.

Despite the success of this loan spell, there is little expectation, even from his biggest fans, that Mitro will stay at Newcastle.

Seemingly the only chance of that happening is if Mike Ashley puts a prohibitive price tag on the striker.

With it being 13 months since Rafa Benitez gave Aleksandar Mitrovic a league start, the Serbian international clearly doesn’t fit into his plans.

Rafa has regularly indicated that it simply comes down to the former Anderlecht forward not suiting his style of play.

With these stats below, probably more to the point is the fact that Newcastle’s style of play doesn’t suit Mitro.

These are the stats from the official Premier League site, showing how many crosses each PL side put in last (2017/18) season:

aleksandar mitrovic

As you can see, only two clubs put in fewer crosses than Newcastle last season.

Arsenal because it just isn’t their style, whilst Stoke were just hopeless, plus Shaqiri much prefers coming inside.

At Fulham, Aleksandar Mitrovic had a constant supply from the wings, with the attacking full-backs contributing to that. The number and quality of the crosses a big factor in those 12 goals for the Newcastle loan striker.

At NUFC, Matt Ritchie often comes inside on his stronger left foot rather than going on the outside and trying to cross, on the left Dummett rarely gets forward, whilst neither Atsu or Kenedy really put in a load of crosses. DeAndre Yedlin is probably the one to most regularly try but the quality of his crossing is very up and down.

I struggle to remember many headed goals last season for Newcastle in open play, with most of the once we did see, coming at set-pieces.

Not sure whether having better quality players to put in crosses would necessarily change Rafa’s mind about the striker but certainly without them, Mitro clearly isn’t suited by this NUFC style of play.

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  • JonMag

    Nothing will change Rafa`s mind on Mitrovich, he just doesn`t like the guy.
    most likely forgot to say, mmmmm,that smells nice when Rafa farts.

    • Steven05

      I reckon it does

    • pedrodelgardo

      Why would you write that?

      • TheNutJob

        do you not know sarcasm when you see it ?

    • Coach Clagnut

      So, you’d rather the future of the N.U.F.C. be in the hands of a 22 year old Serbian international as opposed to a top manager with a proven track record of success?

      • JonMag

        That`s not what the post says is it. it simply says Rafa doesn`t like him, he should have been sold a year ago

        • Coach Clagnut

          Not directly no. It does imply it though but. We could have took the 8 million Brighton offered as they were the only club interested in him until his productive spell with Fulham came along.

  • 5floorshigh

    what a waste of words

  • mentalman

    Rafas apologists cranking up the campaign to convince people its the right thing to do

    • Liam Hogg

      It is though

    • TheNutJob

      Mitro has to go along with Jabba, Penfold & Clarko

  • pedrodelgardo

    Were those fast flat accurate crosses picking a player out or hoofs from 1/3 of the pitch away – weak as you know what stats like most footy stats.

  • Sid James

    Another right Carry On lasting for over 2 years

  • Mxpx

    I completely agree in terms of what we’re doing it’s not going to suit mitrovic .. Where I don’t agree is that we should play only in one style as we have been doing if we mixed it up to be able to play with an old fashioned number 9 as well as what we’ve been doing well we’re terrible at going for it in a game and this is where mitrovic comes in he’s a great number 9 rafa just doesnt think he needs one

  • Beaudan

    Dear The Mag
    Can you please tell me how much you are paying people to write nonsensical articles containing nothing other than conjecture and meaningless opinion? As a statistician of many years standing I would simply like to knock up a few such articles myself and submit them to ‘magazines’ such as yours for use when there is clearly no real news to report.
    Kind regards

  • Leazes.

    The ‘Stats’ tell us he should immediately join Spuds…. hopefully as Harry Kane’s replacement.

    • TheNutJob


  • Mrkgw

    Interesting stats which only serve to make me believe that he should stay at Newcastle and hopefully, when we sign a decent couple of out and out wide men, he will come good.

    • Liam Hogg

      It’ll be almost his fourth season with the club this coming one, how many more chances does he need? I’d love him to succeed but let’s all part ways that’s better for everyone

      • ghostrider

        He was young and learning to control his attitude on the pitch after being targeted. He’s learned a lot since then.
        He got battered at Fulham but kept his cool 99% of the time.
        He’s hardly had a chance at Newcastle and when he did get a chance, he did well, albeit the odd sending off which has been massive overreacted upon.

        All this not fitting into Rafa’s plans is correct. Rafa played Joselu for that very reason, because Joselu was willing to defend from the front to the back and in effect nullifying his potential up front…and his confidence for the limited striking ability he had.

        Mitrovic would be exactly the same if Rafa had played him like Joselu…so yeah, Mitrovic wouldn’t fit…but then again, it takes nothing to make him fit and it doesn’t mean we suffer…it means we offer more attacking presence with Mitrovic doing what he’s geared for….which is keeping defenders on their toes, which is a massive ease to the team.

        When Rafa took a gamble on Kenedy to go more attacking…Mitrovic would have fitted in nicely….so there’s massive potential for this lad to be ready made…yet Rafa will likely revert to the mundane for next season which would indeed rule Mitro out.

        I’d like to see Mitro go on to be prolific at a bigger club. I hope he stands out strong in the world cup.
        I wish the lad all the luck and best in the world.

        • Liam Hogg

          The odd sending off isn’t good is it? And as for controlling his attitude he’s had 20 odd years to perfect that. He’s infinitely better than Joselu but clearly theirs something in his approach to training or attitude that doesn’t add up for the manager so it’s best we have a clean start for all parties involved

          • ghostrider

            Seemed to do fine at Fulham. No issues at all.

          • Liam Hogg

            Lower league, less pressure…seems something in his mental make up isn’t right

          • ghostrider

            The championship is a much tougher league. Less time on the ball and more pressure.
            The premier league has more overall quality but not by country miles outside of the elite half a dozen…in my opinion.

            Mitrovic is tailor made for the premier league in the right team.

          • Liam Hogg

            We’ve proven twice the championship being hard is a myth dreamed up by sky sports & rubbish English managers though.

          • ghostrider

            It’s hardly a myth.
            We negotiated it because we had the quality and fight to do so.

          • Liam Hogg

            It’s a total myth so thick people who believe anything sky sports say will watch it.

  • Foggy

    While I support Rafa to the hilt, I can’t get my head around playing Gayle or Joselu before Mitrovic. Only because they are so out of their depth. l

  • Danimal

    Since GDPR etc, I can log in on the computer but on the iPhone it just times out. Anyone else?

  • robbersdog

    We don’t really need the ‘big lad up-front’ type of centre-forward, because Rafa embraces a more continental approach.

    We need mobile forwards in the mould of Keegan or Beardsley, not battering rams like Duncan Ferguson or…Mitrovic.

  • Mike

    take the money