Aleksander Mitrovic is headed to South London after completing a massive move from Newcastle United. The Serbian striker is joining Fulham for a reported £22 million.
This ends the much maligned career of Mitrovic as a Magpie. The 23-year old arrived on Tyneside in 2015 full of promise and potential. While dazzling at times, it is much more likely Mitrovic’s time with Newcastle will be remembered as frustrating and inconsistent.
He joined Newcastle from the Belgian side Anderlecht for around £16.6 million. In his first season, Mitrovic scored nine league goals for the club, seeming to deliver on much of the hype that surrounded him.
After an uneven year in the Championship when the Magpies were relegated though, Mitrovic found himself outside of Rafa Benitez’s regular team sheet, only making six appearances from August to January of this past season. He accounted for just one Premier League goal in that time. He then joined Fulham on loan and scored 12 goals to help the club secure promotion.
His impressive play with Fulham and continued success on the international stage with Serbia make him a worthwhile player to invest in at 23. However, this was an incredible deal for Newcastle to net £22 million for him, with the potential to reach £27 million due to add-ons.
It was only a matter of time before Mitrovic left and it hardly seemed like he had a ton of suitors. Fulham knew him best from the loan stint and sought to make it a permanent move. The fact that Newcastle profited from Mitrovic is really impressive. He does not have a proven track record in the top division. He is known for committing fouls out of frustration. He lacks the ability to create his own chances. Mitro can be a finisher, which is incredibly valuable, but probably not worth up to £27 million with all his additional caveats.
Mitrovic leaving really does not hurt Newcastle in any way. The team will not miss his production, because he didn’t have any, and now have a decent amount of money to invest in another striker or elsewhere.
This has the potential to be the best sale Newcastle has made since selling Moussa Sissoko to Tottenham for £31.5 million in 2016. Smart spending from this deal could see the club knocking on the door of European football within the next few years.