Rafa Benitez reveals why Newcastle HAD to sell Aleksandar Mitrovic

Rafa Benitez says he has no regrets about selling Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 9:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 3:49 pm
Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Benitez sold the striker to Fulham in the summer.

And Mitrovic returns to Newcastle United tomorrow with his new club.

The 24-year-old – who helped Fulham win promotion during a half-season loan last term – has scored seven goals so far this campaign.

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Asked if he had any regrets about the sale, Benitez said: “You have a vision, and you see the stats. But I can analyse the games, the way that he was playing, and also every training session with us.

“Is he a good player? Yes. Can he score goals for Fulham? Yes. But, for us, maybe we needed something different. Maybe because he was not playing, his confidence was low, and now it’s high. But we needed more mobility.

“Normally, if you’re defending and play counter-attack, the striker has to have more mobility. If not, he’s just a target man.

“For our team, that’s not ideal. Can we play this way? Yes, but we would need to sign other players. It depends on the players around. But were we right or wrong? We got promoted, we won the Championship, we were right. Then, we finished 10th (last season) – so we were right.

“Now, we are ahead of Fulham – so, at the moment, we are right. We are doing well without him.”

On his relationship with Mitrovic, Benitez added: “There was never a personal issue.”