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Opinion

11 Newcastle players Rafa used against Fulham equal Aleksandar Mitrovic transfer fee

3 months ago
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Rafa Benitez embraced Aleksandar Mitrovic after the final whistle on Saturday.

Before the match, the Newcastle United boss was full of positives about his former striker, saying simply that he didn’t fit the system he wanted/needed to play.

As has been widely reported, Fulham paid a transfer fee of £22m in the summer, which will eventually increase to £27m when the player hits certain targets.

On the surface it looked like a deal to suit all parties, a player getting the chance of regular football, a promoted team getting a striker who might score the goals needed in the top tier, whilst the selling club get the chance to reinvest that cash in their manager’s own transfer targets…

Whilst Newcastle fans continue to have their own internal debate/argument about Mitro and whether he should have been given a chance at NUFC, you have to accept that whilst Fulham have ended up in a nightmare position at Christmas, the Serbian forward has been the one big positive.

They have scored 16 goals and Aleksandar Mitrovic has been involved in nine of them, scoring seven and getting two assists.

As for Newcastle United…Rafa Benitez has come out after this shocking 0-0 bore draw against Fulham and stated that, due to Mike Ashley repeatedly failing to allow properly squad strengthening in window after window, even if he belatedly allows decent signings to be made in January it will be a ‘miracle’ if Newcastle stay up.

When I was looking at the players Rafa Benitez used on Saturday, it isn’t difficult to see what he means…

£4m Dubravka

£4m Manquillo

£4m Lascelles

£3m Schar

£0 Dummett

£6m Atsu

£0 Ki

£5m Diame

£1.8m Perez

£0m Rondon

£0m Kenedy

That is fully 11 players used who cost (£27.8m) the same as the eventual Aleksandar Mitrovic transfer fee, give or take the odd £800,000.

The other two Newcastle players used were Yedlin who cost £5m and Rafa’s record signing to date, Matt Ritchie, who cost £12m as Benitez attempted to build a team/squad to get out of the Championship.

Looking at the 13 players Newcastle used against Fulham in another way, seven of them played in the Championship season, then we have two loans and a free transfer, plus Manquillo, Schar and Dubravka.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on every position, and spending money doesn’t guarantee success/survival, BUT not spending it does guarantee eventual failure, it is just a case of when not if, unless something drastically changes at Newcastle United.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Fulham 0

Goals…

Possession was Fulham 46% Newcastle 54%

Total shots were  Fulham 4 Newcastle 9

Shots on target were Fulham 2 Newcastle 0

Corners were  Fulham 0 Newcastle 6

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo (Yedlin 84), Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Ki, Diame, Atsu (Kenedy 72), Rondon, Perez

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Joselu, Muto, Hayden, Fernandez

Crowd: 51,237 was announced but looked around 49,000-50,000 in reality (Fulham around 500, large minibus)

(Rafa Benitez needs to hold his hands up to this one? Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to this bore draw – Read HERE)

(Claudio Ranieri claims Fulham had 4 or 5 chances to win but Newcastle didn’t have single shot at goal – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer savages Newcastle United match ahead of Match of The Day – Read HERE)

(Paul Merson only sees bleak times ahead for Newcastle United after covering the match against Fulham – Read HERE)

(Rafa Benitez says it will be a ‘miracle’ if Newcastle aren’t relegated – Read HERE)
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