Rafa Benitez admits Aleksandar Mitrovic's absence has been a problem

Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic looks dejected

The striker is available for Newcastle United after his ban came to an end.

Newcastle United manager Rafa BenitezNewcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has told the Chronicle that Aleksandar Mitrovic’s absence has been a problem for his side.

The Magpies have been without their centre-forward for the opening three games of the season after he picked up a suspension last season.

In his absence they lost their first two games against Fulham and Huddersfield, although they finally secured a win over Reading in midweek.

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring the second goal for NewcastleAleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring the second goal for Newcastle

He is now available for selection for their weekend clash with Brighton and Hove Albion meaning Benitez has a decision to make over whether to hand him an immediate return to the side.

It seems he will do just that, with the Spaniard admitting his absence has been a problem for his side.

“For us it has been a problem because he is a target man, the big lad who normally plays up front. He hasn’t been there,” he told the Chronicle.

“So it will give us a different dimension in terms of attack and the options can be a different way for us.”

Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring their second goalNewcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring their second goal

It now remains to be seen if Mitrovic can go on and be a star in the Championship this season.

The striker had an eventful first season at St. James' Park and showed on several occasions that he could be the goalscorer they need in their side.

His physical style could be a perfect fit for the robust game offered in the Championship and Benitez will certainly be hoping that is the case.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez celebrates with Aleksandar Mitrovic at the end of the matchNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez celebrates with Aleksandar Mitrovic at the end of the match

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