Mitrovic Is On Fire: So Why The Lack Of Premier League Respect?

The big Serbian is back in the top flight, and this time he is here to stay
09:35, 06 Aug 2022

Cameron Jerome. Ross McCormack. Matej Vydra. Dwight Gayle. David Nugent. The collection of strikers too good for the Championship and yet not good enough for the Premier League is long and plentiful, but Aleksandar Mitrovic’s name has prematurely been added to that list. 

All eyes may be on Jurgen Klopp’s visitors for the lunchtime kick-off at Craven Cottage, but Marco Silva’s home side have a not-so-secret Serbian weapon of their own they are hoping to unleash. Last season Mitrovic scored a recored-breaking 43 goals in 44 games for the Cottagers as his side played some of the greatest attacking football the second tier has ever seen. 

No side in the Championship has ever scored as many as the 106 Fulham managed. No single player has even got near the 40s, let alone finish on 43 as Mitrovic did. Boss Marco Silva had the right pieces on the chess board to gain promotion, but he orchestrated the whole tactical setup that blew the rest of the division away. Three 7-0 wins in one season, two 5-1 wins on the road and back-to-back 6-2 wins at Craven Cottage spoke of his side's dominance, but it was Mitro that stood out. 

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He was strong, powerful and fully fit for a whole season. He bullied Championship defences, was a beast in the air and had the composure and finishing ability to continue to score goals against any level of opposition. These skills are completely transferable to the Premier League and it's likely that he will continue to find the net in the top flight but given the team he plays for, he seems to be flying under the radar. 

The main reason he is not being rated by wider footballing fans or FPL managers, is due to his last showing in the Premier League. It’s the reason why he is being lumped in with the only strikers at the top of this list. 

In 2020/21, Scott Parker’s Fulham side were relegated and Mitrovic was seen as one of the biggest underperformers having only managed to get three league goals for the side that finished 18th. But this was a side that completely lost their way early on, and Parker for whatever reason completely lost faith with his forward. 

With Covid-19 and a few injuries, Mitrovic only made 14 league starts. Having scored twice against Leeds United on the second weekend, it looked as if he was off to a flyer but his season disintegrated, and Fulham’s hopes of staying up went with it. If we look back to 2018/19, also in the Premier League, Mitro bagged a much more respectable tally of 11. 

It’s not a stretch to suggest he should be getting into double figures once again, but there’s a chance he catches fire early on. The Golden Boot is out of the question with the likes of Mo Salah and Erlling Haaland likely to hit 30 goals apiece, but the Serbian is so good, he could well hit 20 goals in the Premier League this season. 

If Fulham survive this season against the odds, it will be because Mitro has produced the goods in the Premier League. A lot will depend on the service he receives and Andreas Pereira could be crucial in that regard. But the Serbian could use the fact that he is flying under the radar to his advantage, and stun Liverpool on the opening day. Mitro is back in the big time and this time, he is here to stay. 

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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