We are struggling up front again this season, much like we did last season, and Newcastle have scored just 4 goals in our first 6 Premier League games.
Last season we scored one goal a game – 38 in the Premier League – and this was one area Rafa wanted to strengthen in the summer.
We brought in Salomon Rondon and Yoshimori Muto, but both are still settling into the Newcastle team.
Salomon has not been match-fit, and Muto has been struggling with the physicality of the Premier League.
To get Salomon to the club on loan, we had to send Dwight Gayle the other way on loan for the season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – after a 1-1 draw at home to Watford
And it’s hardly a surprise that he has already scored 5 goals in 9 league games and is third top scorer in the Championship.
He has more goals than Newcastle have scored in the Premier League.
If Dwight can keep fit, we would fully expect him to be topping the goalscoring charts next May and help West Brom come straight back up.
Rafa Benitez hardly used Aleksandar Mitrovic at Newcastle because Mitro’s style of play just didn’t fit with the type of striker Rafa wanted in his 4-2-3-1 formation.
And subsequently, Mitro didn’t score many goals for us – only 17 Newcastle goals in 72 appearances – a lot of them sub appearances.
But he’s on fire at Fulham and while on loan last season he scored 12 goals in 17 Championship games and helped them get promoted.
And Fulham are off to a reasonable start and Mitrovic has 5 goals in six Premier League appearances so far this season – he has scored more than half of Fulham’s 8 goals in the PL.
Mitrovic is the second top scorer in the Premier League.
And he has more Premier League goals than Newcastle have scored this season.
So one question could be why didn’t Rafa adapt and play to Mitro’s strength, which Fulham have done and are getting the rewards.
With Mitro in excellent goalscoring form, one consolation for Newcastle is we should get the full £27M for him.
But Fulham will still think that’s a bargain when strikers who can score goals regularly in the Premier league usually cost a lot more than £27M.
And to make things even worse, Newcastle currently cannot afford to pay £27M for any player with Mike Ashley as the owner.
There’s something wrong somewhere.