Newcastle United face a struggling Fulham side on Saturday, marking the return of Aleksandar Mitrovic to St James’ Park.

The former Magpie will be desperate to get on the score sheet for his new club, and to also prove Rafa Benitez wrong.

The promising young striker often flattered to deceive in his time on Tyneside and frustrated supporters with his lack of goals.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

In 72 games with Newcastle he scored just 17 goals and there was consistent question marks over the Serbian’s discipline.

Benitez eventually deemed the striker surplus to requirements this summer and he was sold to Fulham for a fee of £22m.

But it’s been a different story for Mitrovic at Craven Cottage and the Serbian has finally found his goal scoring touch.

The 24-year old has already scored 19 goals in 36 games for The Cottagers and has seven Premier League goals this season.

But how much of a threat will he be against the Toon?

Mitrovic still inconsistent

At the start of the season it looked as if Benitez had made a huge mistake.

Newly promoted Fulham entered the Premier League with a bang, and Mitrovic looked to be the team’s star player.

The Serbian scored five goals in the opening six matches of the season and topped the PL scoring charts.

But despite initially flourishing, goals have begun to dry up for The Serbian.

The Cottagers have been struggling defensively for months now, and Mitrovic has been struggling too.

(Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

With Fulham consistently on the back foot in matches, the striker has been provided with few opportunities.

Although Fulham’s main man up top, he has scored just two goals in his last 11 matches.

The Newcastle squad will be pleased to face him during this spell of bad form, but must still be wary of his qualities.

Despite a six game drought a few months ago, The Serbian reminded everyone of his ability against Southampton in November.

The 24-year old managed to bag a brace against the Saints after just four efforts at goal, winning the match for The Cottagers.

Newcastle’s defence will need to make sure they remain alert to avoid a similar situation.

Benitez being proved right on Mitro

While Mitrovic had his supporters at Newcastle, his work rate and finishing were never quite good enough.

The Serbian always looked promising, but never quite reached his potential in a black and white shirt.

For Benitez, he simply did not fit into the manager’s tactical system.

The Spaniard asks a lot of his front men, and needs them to run the channels and hold the play up for teammates.

This is something Salomon Rondon has done consistently since November, and has seen his efforts rewarded with goals.

However Mitrovic is not that sort of player.

The physical forward relies on pinpoint service from his teammates and wont work as hard to create his own chances.

If Newcastle can stifle Fulham’s midfield support, Mitrovic shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

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