Newcastle United will need to sell players to give Rafa Benitez the transfer budget that he requires to mould the squad into one that can compete in the Premier League.
Unlike most promoted clubs, the Magpies will have greater ambitions that simply staying in the division. To achieve that, they need money and those players at the club that the Spaniard doesn’t fully trust or rate will be moved on.
The Mirror report that the first player that could be sold is Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. He is wanted by Besiktas and Fenerbahce, which provides the club with hope that they can recoup a significant amount of the transfer fee that was spent on him in 2015.
Should the club sell Mitrovic?
This is a question that does split the fan-base and there would be a minor backlash if the striker is sold this summer. He has been a favourite among a large section of the supporters, who believe that his passion and selfless approach make him a good option to have in the squad.
They would argue that he hasn’t been given a fair chance in the team and there is more to come from the Serbian. After all, he is only 22 years of age and has the physical attributes to develop into a very good Premier League striker.
However, the other school of thought is that he hasn’t done enough during a season in the second tier and the club should sell him in order to raise funds. He is one of the few players that are expendable and able to bring in £10 million or more.
During the past campaign, he scored only four goals, which was fewer than he managed in the previous season in the Premier League. He has regressed in front of goal and is clearly not trusted by Benitez, who opted for Daryl Murphy ahead of him in the two crucial clashes against promotion rivals Brighton and Huddersfield Town during the run-in.
The Irish veteran managed a Championship goal every 137.6 minutes, which was significantly better than Mitrovic. The Serbian scored every 280.5 minutes. A poor record for a £13 million striker.
It isn’t certain as the amount of interest in the Serbian isn’t clear. There may not be a team that is prepared to pay the money that Newcastle will want and it would be foolish for the Magpies to sell on the cheap. Although he had a disappointing year in the Championship, he remains a talented young striker who could develop into a good player.
If an adequate bid comes in for the 22-year-old, it would be expected that Newcastle would agree to a sale. He is behind Dwight Gayle in the pecking order and at least one striker is likely to be targeted by Benitez this summer. As stated earlier, he is one of the few expendable players in the squad that have a good value attached to them. A move to a smaller league would suit him, as he would be able to develop out of the spotlight of a large league and go up against a lower level of opponent as he honed his craft.