Whilst it seemed quite clear that Mitrovic’s days at Newcastle were numbered while Rafa was in charge, his form at Fulham (seeing him score 12 goals in the Championship from January to May) made several NUFC fans believe he deserved a second chance – especially when we were crying out for a goalscorer.
He wasn’t given that opportunity however, and instead was sold to Fulham in the summer for a fee of £22m rising to £27m.
It seemed a brilliant fee to receive at the time, but with him now joint top scorer in the Premier League after 4 goals in 4 games, many are questioning whether we made a big mistake in selling him.
Here’s what Rafa Benitez has had to say today when asked if he regrets letting the 23-year old leave:
“The first thing that I would say is that I wish him all the best. I didn’t have any problem with him. He was a professional. He’s a nice lad, and that’s it.
“He was very clear (and said) ‘the way that I play, maybe, is not the way we have to play’. In another environment, in another division, and now with confidence, fine, he’s doing well.
“He’s in another team and it’s totally different. He had chances for us.
“He was playing more than Murphy, and Murphy was similar. You see the stats, but I will not waste too much time on that.
“I wish him well. If we are safe, they can be safe, no problem.
“For us, he was not the kind of player we were looking for. That’s it.”
In fairness, it seemed like it was a joint decision based on Mitro’s comments last week.
Rafa knew he didn’t fit the system and Mitrovic accepted that too. This big issue was us failing to spend the money recouped.
I’m a firm believer that Rondon will prove to be an effective replacement, but only signing him on loan was always going to leave a bad taste in fan’s mouths.
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