Even though Rafa hardly played Aleksandar Mitrovic at Newcastle the two of them had a very good working relationship.
You never hear Mitro criticizing the Newcastle manager and that’s a bit of class from the Serbian International.
Mitro has continued his great goalscoring for Fulham netting 4 Premier League goals in 4 games so far this season and that goes with the 12 goals in scored in the 20 Championship games last season that helped Fulham get promoted.
A section of Newcastle fans never wanted Mitro to leave Newcastle but the way Rafa plays – solid defense and then quick counter-attacks – just didn’t fit Mitro’s style of playing center-forward.
It looks like in the end both Rafa and Mitro knew it wasn’t going to work and he was loaned out to Fulham in January and signed full time for 22M in the summer.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – scoring against Brighton
He’s very popular with the Fulham fans as he was with the Newcastle fans.
So far he’s been phenomenally successful for London club.
This is what Mitrovic has said in the Daily Mail:
“I tried to give my best but it wasn’t me,” “I was just running and getting in the team shape.”
“He (Rafa) told me what he wanted and I tried but I am 90 kilos and if I run so much defensively I have no power left when I am in the box.”
“He knew I couldn’t play in that style and I felt it too.”
“Defensively he was one of the best and you can see that when they play, but personally I like to be close to the opponents’ box.”
“I need crosses and service.”
“I try to pay Slavisa back because he did everything to bring me here. Sometimes I will score and sometimes I won’t.””But I give 100% for him.:
“Benitez is a great person and in the end I shook his hand.”
If Mitro is a huge success he looks like being at Fulham, then some Newcastle fans will lament he could have done that at Newcastle.
We’ll have to wait and see, but 4 goals in 4 PL games isn’t too bad at all – it’s more than Newcastle have scored this season.