By Danny Wright
Former Scotland international Don Hutchison is unsure on whether Aleksandar Mitrovic has what it takes to be a prolific Newcastle striker.
The 22-year-old has not featured in any of the club’s last four matches and was axed altogether from the matchday squads against Huddersfield and Reading.
Mitrovic has only scored four league goals in 19 games for the Championship leaders this season, with his last goal coming over a month ago in the 1-0 win over Wolves.
His performances last season suggested that he would become a hit in a lower division as he managed to score nine goals in the Premier League in what was a woeful campaign for the Magpies.
Hutchison believes that that Daryl Murphy is the right man for Rafa Benitez to bring into the side when Dwight Gayle is unable to play.
The 33-year-old has struck the same number of league goals this season as his Serbian teammate, but in six fewer games.
“I’ve never been very convinced by Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Rafa Benitez looks pretty cool on him too, but perhaps Daryl Murphy can be that man,” said Hutchison in his column on the Chronicle website.
“I watched the game against Brighton on TV and Murphy made the difference that night because until he came on, Newcastle did not look like getting anything from it.
“He also scored the second goal which gave the Magpies a bit of breathing space at Huddersfield.”
Murphy has spent a lot of the season on the sidelines after suffering a bad calf injury near the beginning of the campaign.
However he now has two goals in his last three matches for the Magpies and looks to be the preferred Benitez’s preferred back-up option for Gayle.
In other Newcastle news, this 25-year-old has been dropped to the club’s reserves.