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:
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.