Newcastle United are yet to win a Premier League game this season, drawing four and losing two of their opening six fixtures.
The Magpies, no thanks to tight-fisted owner Mike Ashley, couldn’t make as many quality additions manager Rafa Benitez desired during the summer transfer window.
While the Newcastle chairman is at fault for the current average quality of the squad, things might have been different had Benitez not made what now looks like a grave mistake in the off-season.
The Spaniard decided to sanction the sale of Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, despite an impressive loan stint at Fulham and a good World Cup campaign.
The 24-year-old helped the London side to Premier League promotion with 12 goals in 17 appearances, but they weren’t enough to impress Benitez, who instead opted to bring in Salomon Rondon from relegated West Bromwich Albion.
Newcastle’s struggles in front of goal, and ultimately in the top-flight campaign, have continued from where they stopped last season (when they scored 39 goals, won 12 games and lost 18), and they have managed to score just four times thus far.
Meanwhile, the unwanted Mitrovic has more Premier League goals than Newcastle United this season, and he is currently the joint highest goalscorer with five strikes.
The striker’s goals have helped Fulham to a win and two draws thus far, and there is surely more to come from him after proving Benitez wrong.
Mitrovic managed just 10 goals in 40 Premier League games for Newcastle, but he is already half-way to that record in six games, and many Magpies followers would be left wondering what might have been had Benitez not sold him.
The initial £22million fee (which could potentially rise to £27million) gotten from his sales surely came handy in the summer, but it appears Newcastle would have been better off holding on to Mitrovic, and Benitez’s decision to let him go could very much come back to haunt them in the end.