With rumours of Brighton interested in Mitrovic, I decided to explain why freezing out the Serb is wrong.

So far, Newcastle’s defence has been excellent but goals have been few and far between. In fact, Newcastle have the second lowest amount of goals scored in the top 10 (joint with Burnley and ahead of West Brom).

The squad’s strikers have also been a bit iffy. Joselu has already missed a hat-full of chances and Gayle looks a shadow of himself last season. Then we have Mitrovic. This season he’s only completed ~20 minutes but has bagged himself a goal, a decent one vs West Ham when he rounded Joe Hart to tap into an empty net.

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Obviously, his attitude is a massive stumbling block for Benitez. In three seasons, he’s earned himself two red cards and seven yellow cards. On top of this, he earned himself a retrospective three-match ban after elbowing Javier Hernandez in the face. 15 goals in three seasons seems like a poor record but if you dive a bit deeper, the stats show that he’s only completed roughly 35 full matches. A record of 15 goals in 35 full matches looks a lot better.

The Serb also has age on his side, he’s only 23 which means he has another five years until he’s hitting his prime. I personally think he could easily hit 15 goals a season

Another problem is that he is really a Benitez-type striker like Fernando Torres or even Joselu. He’s not agile and quick like the previously mentioned two. Mitrovic isn’t that quick but he can hold off defenders and won’t be pushed off the ball.

In conclusion, I truly believe Mitrovic should start. I think he’s a big upgrade over Joselu and Gayle. Despite his constant attitude problems, I think he’s improved a lot since he joined the club in 2015 and is ready to step up to the plate.

Feature image credit: Ben Sutherland

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