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Rafa Benitez’s biggest mistake is not starting this man

Aleksandar Mitrovic has disciplinary problems. But is that any reason not to start him now?

Newcastle United v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

While I wholeheartedly believe that Rafa Benitez is the best man to lead Newcastle United into the future of Premier League football, I have to say that some of his decisions have me quite baffled.

The decision to keep Aleksandar Mitrovic perched firmly on the bench is quite possibly my largest gripe about Benitez. When you have both Joselu, Dwight Gayle, and even sometimes Ayoze Perez, failing to find the back of the net, there comes a time when even the guy you have little faith in has to make an appearance on the pitch as a STARTER.

Mitrovic is one of those oddities in football, where his international form surpasses his domestic form by far. Granted, the tactics used by the Serbian manager are drastically different than the tactics used by Rafa Benitez. The Serbian football team is essentially Aleksandar Mitrovic’s supporting cast, where he’s struggling to get even a recurring role on the Newcastle United show.

It’s been a whirlwind for Newcastle United, losing six of their last seven matches is nothing to take lightly. Relegation is now firmly on the table, and any hope of an Amanda Staveley buyout happening before Christmas and having funds ready for January are now pretty much gone. The buyout will still likely happen, but not before Christmas, and maybe not before New Year’s.

This places the burden of Newcastle’s shoddy position on the back of Rafa Benitez. And while I have the utmost faith that he will keep the club up, I think part of that process comes with making one simple decision.

Just start Mitrovic.