Since arriving from Anderlecht two summers ago, the Serbian international has established himself as a firm favourite on Tyneside, combining a combative style of play with a relatively consistent supply of goals.
But £18million is a considerable sum for a Championship side – even one that parted with a £55million pair in Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum during the summer.
And although it may break a few hearts around St. James’ Park, we reckon Rafa Benitez should take the money and run if Napoli come knocking for Mitrovic in January. Here’s three reasons why…
For all of Mitrovic’s undoubted talent, the 22-year-old has contributed just three goals to Newcastle’s rise to the Championship’s summit.
Injures and suspensions have limited his game-time but the fact of the matter is that the Magpies have been getting on fine without him, Dwight Gayle leading the second-tier scoring charts with eleven goals in twelve outings.
Whilst Mitrovic admittedly offers a more obvious focal point in attack through his height and strength, contributions and results thus far suggest he isn’t pivotal to the Toon’s promotion bid.
Although he’s one of their best assets on paper, losing Mitrovic in January won’t significantly reduce Newcastle’s strength in attack.
Indeed, the Magpies’ strike-force is already bolstered by Ayoze Perez, who has scored the same number of Championship goals as Mitrovic this season, and summer signing Daryl Murphy.
The Irishman may be yet to get off the mark for the Magpies but he’s one of the most experienced goalscorers in the second tier, notching up 50 strikers during his final three campaigns at Ipswich.
Likewise, highly-rated youngster Adam Armstrong, who has scored thrice in 10 appearances on loan at Barnsley, returns to St. James’ Park in January.
As previously mentioned, Newcastle certainly aren’t compelled to sell during the coming transfer window – particularly after picking up £55million for two players alone during the summer.
But £18million for a striker who’s been at the club for just 18 months is nothing to be sniffed at, especially considering Mitrovic’s Magpies career thus far has consisted of just twelve goals (and two red cards) in 42 appearances.
That’s more than enough for Benitez to sign a direct replacement with proven pedigree in the Championship and improve other areas of his squad, further boosting Newcastle’s promotion hopes.