What does the future hold for Aleksandar Mitrovic at Newcastle United?
Aleksandar Mitrovic has had a turbulent career at Newcastle United to date. There is never a dull moment with the Serbian, but the problem is that not all of his actions are positive ones. The striker has been sent off three times in England in just over two full seasons. That is not a good record for a forward player to have and he has earned himself a reputation.
At international level, he has been superb recently and scored six goals for Serbia during the qualification period. His manager, Slavoljub Muslin, has been discussing why the striker fares better for his country than his club and the Mail reports the following quotes:
‘Maybe the system we play with three attackers suits him better,’
‘Perhaps the coach in Newcastle doesn’t have as much confidence in him as I do. He is our first centre forward. Perhaps he feels more comfortable playing for the national team than he does for his own club.’
From anyone that has followed Newcastle during the last 12 months, it has become eminently clear that Benitez doesn’t trust Mitrovic. Last season, the Magpies had back-to-back games against Brighton and Huddersfield, their two promotion rivals. The Serbian didn’t feature for a single minute in either game. That spoke volumes.
The above comments from Muslin suggests that the way Mitrovic is being used at Newcastle has become a talking point in Serbia. They regular watch a striker capable of scoring goals at the highest level and must be confused as to why he doesn’t play a more prominent role at St James’ Park.
How do Newcastle supporters see him?
This has been a hot topic for discussion among Newcastle supporters for the last 12 months and there are two different schools of thought. There are some that see Mitrovic as the perfect centre-forward for the team and believe he has the potential to develop into a consistent Premier League goal-scorer given a run of games.
However, there are others that have grown tired of the Serbian and his childish antics. He regularly does stupid things to put the team at risk and what he offers on the pitch isn’t enough to make up for the bad stuff. There would have been many that wouldn’t have shed a tear if he had left during the summer. For a £13 million investment, he has yet to do enough.
What does the future hold for the Serbian?
There is no doubting his potential, but he needs to buck up his ideas if he is to become a success at St James’ Park. He is quickly approaching the last chance saloon and his recent suspension didn’t help matters. Against West Ham, he delivered one of the most assured performances of his Newcastle career after coming off the bench and scored the third goal. However, the bad side to his game was also on show as he elbowed Manuel Lanzini. He has since been slapped with a three-match ban.
Benitez is quickly running out of patience with the striker, but the lack of transfer conducted by the club means that he still needs Mitrovic. The Serbian international is unpredictable, but he remains one of the most talented players at the club. The next few months will determine how the club’s number 45 is viewed on Tyneside. He is still only 22 and could grow into a great striker, but he needs to start applying himself more.