It has been a frustrating season for Mitrovic. When he decided to stay at the club in the summer, he would no doubt have been relishing first team football and the opportunity to score a ton of goals at a lower level, and helping Newcastle back into the Premier League, becoming a fans hero in the process.
However, after some of his bad conduct last season, and the importance of having a regular goalscorer if you are to win the Championship, it is thought that Benitez decided he couldn’t trust Mitrovic, which was one of the factors behind him signing Dwight Gayle.
It certainly isn’t because the Serbian forward lacks quality, as he has shown when he has played for Newcastle this season, he has scored goals regularly.
However, due to his lack of first team appearances, numerous other clubs have began to circle as they can smell the opportunity to sign a proven goalscorer.
One of those clubs are Serie A giants Napoli, who are thought to be preparing a January bid of £18million. This would represent a good deal for Newcastle who signed Mitrovic for £13million in 2015. Such a big offer would really tempt Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and he would question whether that is too big a fee to turn down for a player that isn’t a first team starter.
However, it appears that Mitrovic has other ideas, and is determined to help the club back into the Premier League.
He told the Daily Mail:
“I really don’t know anything about that. It’s always nice when big clubs are interested in you.
“But I am in Newcastle and I want to come back to the Premier League. We are in a good way, I am just focusing on Newcastle and I want to score goals for them.
“We have a few big games coming up. We have Leeds, Hull, Blackburn so they are tough games. But we know what we want from the season.
“We have to keep working hard to try and stay at the top until the end of the season. With the players we have we should be at the top.”
Although the fee for Mitrovic would be tempting, Newcastle really don’t have much to gain by selling him now. It is likely that he will continue to get minutes in tandem with Dwight Gayle and continue to score goals. He has 5 in 10 games so far, so come the end of the season, Newcastle should be in the Premiership and it is likely that they will be able to command an even bigger fee for him.
Not only that, but the money available in the Premier League is so vast that risking their promotion bid for the sake of £5million profit would represent a risk not worth taking. Should they sell Mitrovic, and Gayle pick up an injury, Newcastle would be likely to struggle.
Of course they could sign a replacement, but they would be better off waiting until they were back in the Premier League where the players’ availability would expand dramatically.