Benitez offers update on Aleksandar Mitrovic’s future when asked if the striker is still in his plans

Despite being left out of his squad once again in Monday’s defeat at Burnley, Rafa Benitez has insisted that Aleksandar Mitrovic remains in his plans at Newcastle United.

After a disappointing season in the Championship on a personal level last year, the 23-year old striker has seen just 30 minutes of Premier League action so far this season.

His early season form was decent, seeing him bag against West Ham and Nottingham Forest, but his retrospective ban following an elbow on Manuel Lanzini saw him banned for three games – a moment of madness that clearly put him back in Benitez’s bad books.

Since returning from his ban, he’s came on as a substitute just once and has regularly missed out on Rafa’s matchday squads, leading to several supporters of the Serbian being left to wonder if his time at the club is coming to an end.

With this looming doubt in mind, here’s what Benitez said today when asked if the Serbian striker was still in his plans at Newcastle United:

“Yes (he is). You know the competition for the strikers has to be until the end.

“We now have Gayle, Joselu, Ayoze, an offensive player, and Mitrovic is fine. He played minutes in the last game and is another option.”

A pretty emphatic response from the gaffer, but you suspect he has no other choice but to say yes, for now at least.

For a while now, Rafa has accepted that he has no other choice but to do his best with what he’s got and I expect Benitez to ‘back’ Mitrovic as long as he is a Newcastle United player.

I must admit, his lack of discipline and alleged inability to follow Benitez’s specific tactical plan mean his days on Tyneside are probably numbered – however Rafa’s update does offer a glimmer of hope to all those who idolise the Serbian.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

2 thoughts on “Benitez offers update on Aleksandar Mitrovic’s future when asked if the striker is still in his plans

  1. i love meatball he just needs a run in the side as jokessolu had a chance to impress but has not and galeforce is just pisxing in the wind as he is not a prem player so give the meat a chance


  2. If Lanzini was 6″ taller the challenge was a shoulder charge and the witch hunt would never have taken place, this happens virtually every week in most games, a taller player vs a smaller player coming together not looking at each other then trying to barge each other away from the ball…..the move is legal in football when 2 players come together like that, there was no malice, other than trying to push the opposition player off the ball using the shoulde…..the BBC highlighted it on motd and basically begged the FA to ban Mitro, if it was Shearer doing it or Rooney, nothing would have been said…….no yellow, no retrospective ban …nothing……..I’m not one for conspiracy theories but it seems whenever our mad Serb is involved in anything , the media try and find a way of making it look worse than it actually was……this may be why Rafa is hesitant to use the Serb , not because he is a liability as such ,more the fact there is a media witch hunt against him……that and the fact he struggles to follow instructions ,which is another of Rafa’s pet hates………imho


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