Dan Ashworth swooped to sign the Swedish international in an attempt to bolster the club’s options at the top end of the pitch, joining Callum Wilson and Chris Wood as one of Eddie Howe’s first-team strikers.
The Magpies have had some terrific centre-forwards over the years, including the legendary Alan Shearer, but sometimes things just do not work out for players during their time at St. James’ Park.
A prime example of that is current Fulham talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was brought in by Steve McClaren and never established himself as the go-to man on Tyneside.
He then struggled to find his best form in the Championship as he found the back of the net four times in 25 outings before ending up on the fringes of the team at the start of the 2017/18 campaign under Rafa Benitez.
The Spanish boss then sanctioned a permanent exit for the Serbian international in the summer of 2018, allowing him to move to Craven Cottage for £22m.
On the face of it, Newcastle making a £9m profit on the forward despite him not being in favour under Benitez appeared to be a good bit of business by the club.
However, his achievements since departing St. James’ Park suggest that the former Liverpool and Everton boss had a mare by allowing him to leave.
Mitrovic scored 11 Premier League goals in the 2018/19 campaign, whilst only two Newcastle players managed more than four league strikes that term, and then produced 26 goals in 40 Championship outings the following season.
Ivan Toney had set the Championship record for goals in a season with 31 in the 2020/21 campaign before Mitrovic, who has been dubbed a “goal machine” by journalist Nick Wright, came along and smashed it out of the park – outscoring every other player’s best goalscoring record in the history of the competition by at least 13 goals.
Therefore, Benitez had a mare by deciding to sell the striker, who has 102 goals in 185 games for Fulham, as Newcastle could have benefitted from his immense talent in front of goal instead of watching him break records in London.