Anderlecht looking toothless without Mitrovic after three penalty misses in one match

RSC Anderlecht Flag Stadium Fans

The Serbian may have been slow to get off the mark for Newcastle but his former Belgian employers have looked even worse in front of goal.

Before Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne delivered a glut of goals for Manchester City against Newcastle at the Etihad, the game had been notable for one other thing.

After 225 minutes of playing time for the Toon in the Premier League, Aleksandar Mitrovic finally got off the mark for the Magpies in an impressive first half display that had many thinking positively about the future.

A sorry second half showing may have put pay to such a perspective but the 21-year-old will at least be relieved to have got that particular monkey off his back, given the difficulties endured by predecessor Emmanuel Rivere last season.

And while Mitrovic may have been a little slow to get off the mark in the Premier League, it's becoming evidently clear that he is sorely missed at his old club Anderlecht.

The Serbian netted 28 goals for the Brussels club last season to earn a €21 million move to St James' Park and in his absence, Anderlecht have struggled.

In 10 Belgian Jupiler League games so far this term, they have managed just 14 goals – the worst record among the current top six by some distance – and boast only the 7th best scoring record in a notoriously top heavy division.

Over their last 12 competitive games, Anderlecht have also only managed to score more than a single goal on two occasions.

And while Mitrovic's direct replacement, Stefano Okaka, has fared well with four goals in nine games to date, he was among the guilty parties during a 1-1 draw with Mechelen in the Belgian league over the weekend.

Though Okaka got on the score sheet, Anderlecht endured something of a nightmare managing 12 shots on goal but just four on target.

Worse still, Mechelen goalkeeper Jean-Francois Gillet was the undoubted hero, saving three penalties – including one from Okaka – before a Kara Mbodji own goal late on salvaged a point for the visitors.

With Anderlecht looking toothless in attack, a Mitrovic return would undoubtedly be welcome.

However, after Saturday's goal, that's looking less likely.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch