Rafa Benitez has been talking about our 22 year-old Serbian International striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and the Newcastle manager has said that when he heard the striker had scored two goals for Serbia last week he rushed to the internet to see the video of the two goals.
Mitro has a lot of passion and Rafa has talked about it but he says it’s very good to have the kind of passion the Serbian has , but he has to learn to control it.
It’s the Serbian’s biggest asset but also potentially his biggest weakness if he cannot control it.
Rafa Benitez and Aleksandar Mitrovic
Mitrovic was sent off twice last season – the second time with just 20 minutes to play in the final game at home to Tottenham.
That meant he missed the first four games of this season and then he couldn’t get a starting place in the side – principally because of the good form of Dwight Gayle.
Rafa was asked in the local press if he rated the Serbian and this is how he answered that question:
“Yes – someone who has this passion is really good.”
“The problem with Mitrovic, the only thing that is wrong with that is he has to control this.”
“We have spoken about it before that he needs to control his temper and these things.”
“My job is to give him advice and continue monitoring him and being sure he has this control.”
“I had this situation last year and I have this same situation this year.”
“I have to play a team, but the others they have to put me under pressure in a positive way. That means training harder and being competitive.”
“Mitrovic is this kind of player. He is trying to improve, but to be fair I have a lot of players like that who are training really well.”
“When I have to decide who to play, it is not easy.”
With his return to form for Serbia a number of fans expect Mitro will get a start today at home to Brentford in a game we just have to win.
We think Dwight Gayle will probably get the start, but expect Mitro to come on at some point in the second half.
A goal for the Magpies is what the 22 year-old needs to get his confidence even higher, after playing so well for Serbia during the International break.
Newcastle have a potentially great player on their hands in Mitro and Rafa is just the kind of manager to bring out the very best in him.
And this lad could score a lot of goals for us this season once he gets going.