Reports in the Telegraph this week claimed Fulham and Newcastle have agreed a deal in principle for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, with the fee in the region of £20 million.
The anticipated transfer would be a massive boost for Fulham, achieving one of their biggest transfer goals with plenty of time to spare in the window.
The Serbian international was the star of Fulham’s second half of the season revival and provided Slavisa Jokanovic’s side with the lethal finishing they needed to cap off the plethora of chances created each match.
The team was begging for a forward like Mitrovic to give the Whites a deadly cutting edge, and the Newcastle loanee delivered emphatically.
Mitrovic joined in the most remarkable of circumstances after a hopeful WhatsApp message from Jokanovic propelled the deal at the last minute, but he quickly hit the ground running during Fulham’s scintillating unbeaten run.
It took until the final day of the season until Mitrovic lost a game in a Fulham shirt, a testament to how valuable the striker was to Fulham’s success.
He provided a critical focal point at the centre of attack, with strong hold-up play that created space for the Whites’ other attackers and drew the attention of opposition centre-backs.
Fulham fans will fondly remember his knack for strong, swashbuckling performances against some of the league’s supposedly tougher centre-backs.
Mitrovic’s swaggering, muscle-pumping celebration after destroying Sheffield United’s Richard Stearman perfectly encapsulates his time at Craven Cottage.
In a 3-0 win, the Serb scored his first with an authoritative smashing in of a low cross; his second came from an audacious first-time flicked volley.
12 goals in 17 appearances: the stats don’t lie, Mitrovic scored goals for fun at Craven Cottage. And, what’s more, he finally seemed to find a true home.
Gone were the childish antics, fights of rage, and ill-discipline that plagued his time at Newcastle. Thanks to his compatriot, Jokanovic, Mitrovic was well-supported and appreciated at Fulham.
Fulham fans knew Mitro was a special one when, in a fit of unadulterated emotion, he kissed the club badge after scoring the late winner against Sunderland in April.
With a motivated Aleksandar Mitrovic leading the line for Fulham in the Premier League with a point to prove, the outlook on the Cottagers’ return to the top flight suddenly gets a lot brighter.