Former Toon striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has opened up about his time on Tyneside, revealing his regret over a lack of game time and goals.
He clearly still has a lot of love for Newcastle United, which he still describes as a “massive club”, with the Fulham star stating that ‘kind’ fans around the city became ‘friends’ during his three seasons at St James’ Park.
The Serbian powerhouse bagged just nine goals in a debut season that ultimately ended in disaster as we were relegated to the Championship under Rafa Benitez.
From 2016/7 onwards, he rarely featured under the Spaniard, struggling to earn the trust of his manager and finding himself behind Dwight Gayle and £5m flop Joselu in the pecking order.
Here is what Mitrovic said about his stint at our club:
“I didn’t play as much as I wanted.
“I didn’t score as many goals as I wanted but, in the end, I made so many friends there.
“The supporters there in the stadium, everything, the city are so lovely.
“The people are always so kind.
“It’s hard as well when it’s not going well.
“It’s a tough place to play with a lot of pressure but it’s a really massive club.”
He has had a poor run of late since reviving his career at Craven Cottage. Despite being the Championship’s top goalscorer last year, he has struggled for form this season and missed the decisive penalty against Scotland as Serbia failed to progress to the Euros next summer.
His discipline issues still continue to plague his career but I, like many Newcastle fans, still have a special soft spot for Mitro.
That goal against the Mackems in the last Tyne-Wear derby epitomised the passion that he displayed every time he stepped onto the pitch. He may have overstepped the mark at times but you could never question his desire to pull on the black-and-white shirt. It was almost as though one of our own were playing up front for us at times.
If Fulham were to go down I’d 100% have him back at the Toon. Better to see Mitrovic coming off the bench than a washed up has-been like Andy Carroll.