Aleksandar Mitrovic has 8 goals in his last 8 games for Serbia – the same man who only managed 4 Championship goals all season last year – and his Serbian national coach Slavoljub Muslin has suggested why Newcastle are not getting the best out of him.
Muslin has suggested that the 22-year old does not feel as appreciated playing for Newcastle as he does for Serbia, also feeling that Serbia’s 4-3-3 system may offer more attacking support & suit him better:
“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.”
In the 2018 World Cup qualifiers he’s scored six goals in six games – being the top scorer in Group D – with Belgium’s Lukaku, Poland’s Lewandowski and Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo being the only players in European qualification to outscore him.
Many expected Mitrovic to be sold this summer and whilst he may well have been if other strikers were signed, he has proceeded to score 3 over pre-season and grab a goal in our 3-0 win over West Ham last time out.
There’s been some promising signs, however in typical Mitrovic fashion, an elbow on Manuel Lanzini in that very game has seen him fined for violent conduct, meaning he will now sit out our next three games.
He splits opinion, but it’s fair to say Benitez’s lack of ‘confidence’ in the striker is likely to revolve around his disciplinary problems as much as it is his ability. As much as fans call for him to be given more of a chance, he really doesn’t help himself.