Mitro has my vote ahead of a new signing – here’s why.

Colm O'Donnell 29th January 2021
© Dara Curran

In his debut piece, Colm O’Donnell says maybe we don’t need to delve into the transfer market this weekend.

Wednesday’s game against Brighton made one thing clear. One thing that we all knew already.

That is if Fulham are to survive in the Premier League, they need to start scoring goals and they need to start scoring them this Saturday.

If we get a win against West Brom at the Hawthorns while Brighton and Newcastle both lose to Spurs and Everton respectively, we’ll have all of a sudden reeled two teams within striking distance with a game in hand.

No time to bed in

The million-dollar question is, though, where are the goals going to come from? Do they hit the transfer market and take the risk of ending up with another Kostas Mitroglou in the hope that we might stumble upon someone who had the impact Pavel Pogrebnyak had in his first three games? In reality, we don’t have a great history with strikers making immediate impacts. There was Pogrebnyak, who scored five goals in his first three games, but he then only ever scored one more for us after that.

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Andy Johnson and Ross McCormack took a month and a half each to get their first strikes, while Bobby Zamora only scored twice in his first season. No doubt, the last three were brilliant for this club, but right now Scott Parker can’t afford to allow someone time to settle in. We could be relegated by the time they’re ready. Put simply, we need someone who is going to score about 10 goals in these last 19 games. It’s a mammoth ask.

Oven-ready striker

We already possess a striker who can do that in Aleksandar Mitrović and Wednesday only reaffirmed my belief. Mitrović came on for the last 12 minutes and instantly made us look a much more dangerous team.

His first touch was to hold up the ball and start an attack. His second touch set Bobby Decordova-Reid in on goal. And most importantly, his strength was the key factor in creating the chance for Loftus-Cheek at the very end. If Mitro and Joe Bryan had started that game, I firmly believe we would have taken three points instead of just one.

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Sure, Mitro had a poor spell for club and country after the Leeds game, but this is also the man who proved he could score in the Premier League last time around when he netted 11 times in a poorer side than this. He can’t just be thrown to one side because of a bad spell. With Robinson coming back and his ability to get to the byline, paired with Lookman’s ability to create something out of nothing, it’s a perfect time to get Mitrović on the end of some of those balls to direct them into the net.

This squad is good enough to stay in this league, but they need to start turning these moral victories into actual points on the table. We’re playing a fantastic brand of football, we are solid defensively and we have a top notch goalkeeper. The final piece of the puzzle is Mitro putting the ball in the net.