Friday, September 29, 2023

On Loan Newcastle United Striker Draws High Praise From Rival Manager: Time For Benitez To Recall Him?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Fulham’s chances of winning an automatic promotion to the Premier League have been boosted by the 1-0 win over Reading last weekend and Aleksandar Mitrovic seems to be drawing all the praises. After the loss to Aston Villa, Cardiff City manager, Neil Warnock said, “The striker they got on loan has been the best signing in the whole league. That’s what they’ve been missing for the past few years and all credit to them.”

This is certainly a respectful sign by the Blue Birds and a warning shot to Newcastle United about their wantaway forward. Mitrovic used to warm the benches of St James’ Park under Rafael Benitez and now is lighting up the Championship with his goal scoring run.

He registered his 8th goal for the Lillywhites in just 13 league games since his arrival in January and has helped maintain Fulham’s second-best offensive record throughout the division, just 4 goals short from Wolves.

Now it has been reported that it was Benitez who had set a 20-goal target for the young forward’s loan spell away from Tyneside. This would implicate some sort of understanding between the player and Magpies management but come summer, it can paint an entirely different picture.

Mitrovic is just 23 and is slowly developing into the goalscorer that he was thought out to be during his time with RSC Anderlecht. It was in Belgium where the Serbian made his name by scoring 44 in 93 games for the Purple and Whites and helped them to their 33rd league title.

Mitrovic is a graduate of the FK Partizan youth academy and was signed by the Tyneside club for a hefty £13m transfer fee.

Unfortunately, he never could settle into the pace of the Premier League and could manage a mediocre tally of 9 goals in his debut season. Following the relegation of his side to the second division, Mitrovic furthered struggled in front of goal and eventually lost out on his starting spot to the in-form Dwight Gayle.

His wishes of replicating the feats of Alan Shearer had crumbled into another bust story and fans were already starting to write him off. Little did anyone know what a little change can do to his career.

Read More: 3 Replacements For 25 Y/O European Midfield Maestro At Newcastle United Including This Championship Ace!

Ideally, Benitez would want to have him back for another shot in the Premier League but it will all depend on the player and Fulham’s wishes to sign him to a permanent deal. However, the asking price for Mitrovic might prove to be too much if promotion is somehow not earned.

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