Rafa Benitez revisits Aleksandar Mitrovic decision at Newcastle United ahead of Fulham reunion
Rafa Benitez has revisited his controversial decision to sell Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The striker divided opinion on Tyneside before his £20million-plus move to this afternoon's opponents Fulham last summer.
Benitez replaced Mitrovic with loan signing Salomon Rondon, who has scored 10 Premier League goals for Newcastle United.
Mitrovic has gone one better by netting 11 times for relegated Fulham.
The 24-year-old – who drew a blank in December's goalless draw at St James's Park – will be looking to put one over his former club at Craven Cottage.
Benitez, for his part, maintains that he had a good relationship with Benitez, despite overlooking him for much of their time together at St James's Park.
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Asked if he had been right to sell Mitrovic, Benitez said: “I’ve said so many times my relationship with Mitro is much better than maybe people think.
"I'm a professional, and I have to analyse whether, in my opinion, we needed him, but I’m really pleased he’s done well there and is scoring goals although, hopefully, not this weekend.
"He’s a good player, and he suits the style they play there. He loves football – he’s very competitive – and I think he’s a good player.
"He will score goals, for sure. It’s just we were looking for something different for us. Different players suit different tactics, and Salomon Rondon has done really well for us.
"As a team we needed to be solid, and we needed to get results all together, and we did it.”