Rafael Benitez comments on Aleksandar Mitrovic

Georginio Wijnaldum (C) of Newcastle United celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates Aleksandar Mitrovic (L) and Moussa Sissoko (R) during the Barclays Premier League...

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is tight lipped over whether the Serbian will start against Liverpool.

Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his goal during a pre-season friendly match between Bradford City and Newcastle United at Northern Commercials Stadium on...

Speaking to The Chronicle, Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has refused to comment on whether he will restore Aleksandar Mitrovic to the first XI for Sunday's visit of Liverpool at St James's Park.

Benitez might well switch up his attacking options this weekend after summer signing Josleu endured another wasteful performance in the 1-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.

The Serbian hitman has only played 19 minutes of Premier League football this season but he already has the same amount of goals as Joselu, who has scored once in five league appearances for Newcastle following his £5 million move.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Rolando Aarons of Newcastle United celebrate after a pre-season friendly match between Bradford City and Newcastle United at Northern Commercials Stadium on July 26,...

Mitrovic, 23, hasn't kicked a ball for the Magpies in over a month, but the Spanish manager refused to confirm he would recall the fiery striker this weekend.

Asked by The Chronicle if Mitrovic would face Liverpool, Benitez said: “We will see. The competition will increase now, and I think that will be good for the team.

“We want to have all the players available and competing, and then they have to realise that is the way to have a stronger squad.

Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St. James Park on August 26,...

“Push, push and make sure they are ready to play.”

Of course, Benitez also has Dwight Gayle to call on if he needs him, though Mitrovic is arguably the more effective Premier League striker.

Gayle deserves a chance. He was instrumental in helping Newcastle win promotion from the Championship last season and the least Benitez can do is give him chances to prove himself in the top flight.

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