Former Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has defended Mike Ashley, insisting the controversial owner is a ‘great guy’.
Ashley is a huge unpopular figure at the club having failed to adequately invest during his 12-year stint at St. James’ Park.
Despite the recent club-record signings of Miguel Almiron and Joelinton, the Sports Direct CEO has frustrated fans for years with his methods and is wanted out by the large majority.
Ashley does have some supporters though, one of those being former Newcastle striker Mitrovic, who was sold in 2018.
He said of the 54-year-old (talkSPORT): “Ashley is a good guy, I understand why people at Newcastle don’t like him but I had a good relationship with him. He was good to me.
“I didn’t see him a lot, but he’s a great guy.
“I think he will invest, he just bought [Joelinton] for £40 million, he is just a little more careful than the other owners.”
He was a popular figure during his time at the club, but his assessment of Ashley is sure to fall on deaf ears and perhaps even wind some disgruntled fans up.
From where they are sitting, Ashley is holding the club back.
A club their size should be knocking on the door of Europe, and to do that major investment is needed.
It’s starting to come, as highlighted by the Almiron and Joelinton deals, but the departure of Rafa Benitez still stings for many and will do for some time, especially if the team struggle under Steve Bruce.