The way in which Newcastle United celebrated Aleksander Mitrovic’s birthday via the club’s official social media channels said a lot about the Serbian’s impact at the club so far this term.
Recruited to bring much-needed goals to the Toon attack, the former Anderlecht man has failed to find the net in four appearances for Newcastle to date.
He has had some impact, though, with a tally of two yellow cards and a straight red recorded on Tyneside already. All of which went some way to explaining why they tweeted the following:
Happy 21st birthday to Aleksandar Mitrović!
He's had lots of cards... #NUFC
Mitrovic is not the only one to be struggling in front of goal for Newcastle, though, with Papiss Cisse the only Toon striker to even get off the mark, with just one goal to his name from six largely lacklustre appearances.
It’s all part of a general malaise that has seen Newcastle rack up the fewest number of goals in the league so far this season - with just three scored in six games.
As one of the big-money signings of the summer, Mitrovic must take some of the blame.
But what might pain the fans and those behind the scenes at Newcastle United is that he was not the only option for the Toon.
Back in March of this year, the Daily Mail reported that the Magpies were busy scouting young Senegalese striker Moussa Konate.
Also linked with a move to West Ham United, the Senegal international had previously impressed for the national side at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Second top scorer at the under-23 tournament with five goals in four games, Konate has enjoyed spells at Krasnodar and Genoa to date but currently plays for Sion in Switzerland.
Still only 22, the Senegalese forward scored 16 goals last term but failed to earn a move to Newcastle or a similarly larger stage, with the Daily Mail noting that a Toon offer was only likely if other options failed to materialise.
It’s a decision Newcastle could be left to rue, with Konate picking up where he left off last term.
In eight games already this season, the striker has found the net five times and was particularly impressive in the Swiss club’s 2-1 win over Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
A quick, versatile striker who boasts a good eye for a pass and has been known to cut inside from the flanks to shoot, Konate would be a relatively inexpensive gamble for the likes of Newcastle come January.
More importantly, with experience of playing in Italy and Russia under his belt, he could find a transition to the harsh conditions and tough physical demands of the Premier League a little easier to manage than Mitrovic has.
But at this rate, however, the Magpies may face stiff competition for his services.
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