Frozen-out Newcastle 22-year-old ready for first-team return
By Danny Wright
Aleksandar Mitrovic has admitted that it’s frustrating missing out on first-team football for Newcastle.
However, after being frozen-out by Rafa Benitez in the past few weeks, the 22-year-old is desperate to prove his worth in training and in his upcoming international match for Serbia.
A recent injury to Daryl Murphy and fitness doubts over Dwight Gayle could mean that Mitrovic may return to the starting line-up after the international break is over when the Magpies welcome struggling Wigan to St. James’ Park in April.
The target man has not managed to get any time on the pitch in Newcastle’s last five matches but Benitez could be forced to change his mind after three games without a win.
Mitrovic is currently on international duty with Serbia as they prepare to take on Georgia in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on Friday.
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The ex-Anderlecht striker is expected to start and earn his 27th senior cap for his nation.
“We play in a very demanding league, where there is a lot of training and a lot of hard work,” said Mitrovic, as quoted by the Chronicle.
“First team football would mean a lot to me and I have been training hard. I have played a few games, not in continuity.
“Last time around, I wasn’t a first-team regular either, but I was match fit and scoring goals for the national team. Playing for my country gives me motivation to train well.”
Mitrovic has been in less-than inspiring form for the Tynesiders this season despite them currently topping the Championship standings.
In 23 appearances in all competitions, the Serbian international has scored just six goals with only four of them coming in the Championship.
He has just one goal to his name since October which came in a 1-0 win over Wolves in mid-February.
In other Newcastle news, forget Scott Arfield – the Magpies should sign these three Premier League wingers in the summer.