Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Make No Mistake, Mitrovic Just Wasn't Right Fit for Toon

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Make No Mistake, Mitrovic Just Wasn't Right Fit for Toon

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Newcastle United Writer lee.ryder@ncjmedia.com @lee_ryder

BEFORE the game had even kicked off on Saturday there was talk in the Crystal Palace Press room that struggling Newcastle United had made a humongous mistake in flogging Aleksandar Mitrovic to Fulham.

As the Serbia international stabbed home an equaliser for the Cottagers just across the capital against Watford, there was no escaping the fact that Mitro was indeed on fire again.

Mitrovic has now scored five goals for the Fulham this season - one more than United in total.

The easy conclusion was that Newcastle wouldn't be struggling if Mitrovic was still on board at St James' Park.

But there's a lot more to it than it than that.

Mitrovic is playing his heart out for Slavisa Jokanovic at Fulham, but the truth is he didn't fancy it under Rafa Benitez.

He was given the guidelines he needed to stick to succeed but insiders at the club will tell you that he seemed determined to do anything but follow instructions given.

From dragging in his own striker coach to working with a fitness consultant after training, Mitrovic often looked for excuses during his disappointing stint on Tyneside.

On the pitch, he scored 17 goals in 72 games for the Magpies and notably it's taken him just 23 games to get to the same figure for Fulham.

However, for whatever reason, it just didn't work out for him at Newcastle.

Weirdly, former chief scout Graham Carr's big policy was to sign players that could revel at Newcastle rather than melt in the intensity of the club, but Mitrovic didn't survive more than two-and-a-half seasons.

It can happen with certain players, such as the curious case of Jon Dahl Tomasson back in the day when the young Dane flopped on Tyneside and ended up being a hit with AC Milan. …

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