Mitrovic signing marks 11th anniversary of Newcastle flop Kluivert's arrival

The signing of the Serbian in a £13 million deal comes on the day, 11 years ago, that Patrick Kluivert signed for Newcastle United.

Many Newcastle United fans remain sceptical about the signing of Aleksandar Mitrovic, and with good reason – the Magpies have had their fingers burned on many a forward line purchase in the Premier League.

From the likes of Albert Luque and Carl Cort to recent additions such as Emmanuel Riviere and Luuk de Jong, it’s been a rocky road to say the least.

But 11 years ago today, a man arrived with a reputation for scoring goals for fun in Europe.

Patrick Kluivert was supposed to be in his prime when he signed for Newcastle.

Only 28 at the time, the Dutchman had scored 120 goals in 255 games for previous club Barcelona and his recruitment was seen as a major coup.

Speaking to the BBC at the time, then-manager Bobby Robson seemed to think so too:

"He is one of the most significant signings in Newcastle in many years. It is like the feeling when Alan Shearer came home."

Robson was seen as the perfect boss to get the best out of Kluivert, having worked with some difficult characters over the years.

But things soon went wrong, with Newcastle making a slow start to the campaign.

Despite turning the club’s fortunes around from the dark days of Kenny Dalglish, Robson was soon out of the job and replaced by Graeme Souness.

It was an uphill struggle for Kluivert from there and despite scoring a respectable 13 goals in 37 games, he was duly dispatched to Valencia in the summer.

Whether he can be labelled a complete flop is debateable – Kluivert netted winners against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, after all – but his time on Tyneside will forever be tinged with a sense of “what if?”

Here’s hoping Mitrovic avoids a similar fate.

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