Volatile ex-Mag Aleksandar Mitrovic has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons this weekend, somehow escaping a red card for a blatant elbow on Leeds United’s Ben White yesterday.
Mitrovic is the Championship’s joint top scorer with 23 goals, but should have been dismissed in Fulham’s 3-0 defeat at Elland Road – and will now likely be handed a retrospective three game ban by the FA.
Watch the incident here, with him doing this less than 2 minutes into Fulham’s big clash at the top with Leeds:
Ex-Toon boss Steve McClaren, who signed the Serbian back in 2015, was on commentary during the game and had this to say about Mitro after the incident:
“That’s how he is, that’s what he was like as a kid when we signed him for Newcastle.
“He’s so aggressive, he bullies you.
“That’s what he did. The first five games he played, I think he got sent off twice for us.
“He has to calm down, he has to control his emotions and play the game.”
While he didn’t actually get sent off twice in his first five games, he did pick up a booking for a reckless challenge 22 seconds into his Newcastle debut before being sent off against Arsenal in his first full-start at St James’ Park.
He has quality and his departure is one of the only criticisms I have of the Rafa Benitez era, but incidents like this show that he is still immature and a potential liability to whatever team he plays for.
I love Mitrovic for how much of a loveable lunatic he was in a black-and-white shirt, and he would still walk into our side now considering the lack of convincing options we currently have up front. However, incidents like this only enhance the negative reputation he has among some football fans, and do little to persuade Premier League clubs that he’s worth another punt in the top flight.
If he does – which he should – get a three game ban, Fulham fans will be absolutely livid that he would have put a major dent in their promotion hopes.