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Rafa Benitez’s take on Aleksandar Mitrović

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Something that slipped under the radar ahead of the weekend’s draw with Bristol City, was the comments made by Benitez when asked about the Serbian striker (again). 

Newcastle United v Preston North End - EFL Cup Fourth Round
Newcastle will be hoping for better performances from Mitrovic
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It emerged last week that Paris Saint-Germain had actually had an offer for Mitrović knocked back by the Magpies.

The 22-year-old has always been vocal with regards to his commitment to Newcastle, but after a season of more downs than up, his future seems up in the air. Whilst half of supporters have made their adoration for Mitrović known, the other half would only be too happy to sell the striker on.

When asked about the continued speculation, Benitez said

“I can read news about him all the time. That means someone close to him was interested to do business”.

“But I said straightaway that he would stay and his reaction when he was not playing was brilliant. He fought for his position and I am happy with these kind of problems”.

Judging by those comments, it does appear that someone close to Mitrović is pushing for him to move. The influence this person (or people) has on his career remains open to interpretation, but something is definitely brewing beneath the surface.

As of now, Mitrović has 6 goals this season. Although that seems a meagre tally, it has to be taken into account that he as only actually started 12 times. Chances have been few and far between for a player who was widely expected to spearhead the club’s promotion challenge this season. Either through injury, suspension or just by not being selected, Aleksandar’s career has come to a significant crossroad.

Birmingham City v Newcastle United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Mitrovic missed a few games in January with a nasty injury.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

At such a young age, an argument could be made to keep hold of him, but that choice boils down to one man. Rafa Benitez holds all of the cards and in the summer, I am sure a resolution will be found.

Until the end of the season though, Mitro must have one sole focus. Doing all he possibly can to help Newcastle United return to the Premier League.