Ironically it appears that a suspension to Brighton’s top scorer Tomer Hemed have pushed them in the direction of Aleksandar Mitrovic – a striker with a less than enviable disciplinary record who has only recently returned from a three-match ban.
Mitrovic, though a talented centre-forward who scored 11 goals in his debut top flight campaign in 2015/16, started less than a quarter of Newcastle’s Championship fixtures last season and has only featured for 18 minutes this. Clearly, manager Rafael Benitez doesn’t have a great deal of trust in a player who was banned for a needless elbow on West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini back in August and hasn’t been seen since.
If the former Anderlecht talisman does arrive at Brighton in January, however, you wonder what this means for Hemed. Like Mitrovic, the Israeli international is a tall and physical presence renowned for his ability to lead the line with aggression – though that spilled over when the FA found him guilty of a stamp on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin last month.
Hemed would likely be pushed down the pecking order by Mitrovic but would he be forced out the exit too? According to The Sun, Leeds United were among a number of Championship clubs interested in the summer.
And Thomas Christiansen’s side should consider renewing their interest in the summer with Pierre-Michel Lasogga the club’s only fit and senior centre-forward. Hemed scored 28 Championship goals in the last two seasons so would arrive with real pedigree.
Leeds, then, may be hoping that Newcastle are willing to let Mitrovic go in the hope that Hemed could be on his way in January too.