Does Jonjo Shelvey insight explain Aleksandar Mitrovic absence at Newcastle United?

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,...

The Serbian striker is yet to start a Premier League game for Newcastle United this season.

Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United celebrates scoring his sides third goal with Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham...

Aleksandar Mitrovic has been conspicuous by his absence from the Newcastle United team of late.

The Magpies are sat comfortably in ninth in the Premier League table, but their success has been built on Rafael Benitez’s solid foundations rather than any inspiring attacking play.

United have managed only 10 goals in as many league games and fired a fourth blank of the campaign in Monday’s 1-0 loss away to Burnley.

And yet Mitrovic was not even in the Newcastle squad that travelled to Turf Moor, so out of favour is he with Benitez despite being the club’s joint-top scorer this season with two goals from three appearances.

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United looks on prior to the Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Southampton,...

The Serbian has featured only once in the league since August - as a 78th-minute substitute against Crystal Palace.

This could be explained by an insight into Benitez’s man management style, given by Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey to Sky Sports - “if you do not listen, then you are not going to play”.

"[Benitez] is very detailed in the way he works,” Shelvey told Sky Sports. "And if something is not right, then you will be made to do it again and do it again which for us is very beneficial because you are constantly learning.

"And if you do not listen, then you are not going to play with Rafa.

"You have to take it on board and learn very quickly. You can tell that in the way we have set up this year and how well drilled and organised we are. And this is a credit to Rafa and his coaching staff."

Aleksander Mitrovic of Newcastle United controls the ball ahead of Luke Chambers of Ipswich Town during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Newcastle United at Portman...

Mitrovic has all of the physical and technical skills to lead the Newcastle line more effectively than Joselu.

He has a decent scoring record too - 41 goals in 114 club appearances and 10 in 32 caps for Serbia.

Could it be his failure to heed Benitez’s instructions in training which is sidelining Mitrovic?

Newcastle are relying on hard work and discipline to reestablish themselves in the top flight, and it seems that the talented 23-year-old is not trusted to bring either to the team at the moment.

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