Fulham had started a very strong promotion campaign in the EFL Championship under new manager Marco Silva. But a series of unprecedented bad results have seen them slump and drop to fifth in the league. However, they are still in the playoffs spot and have one big reason to believe they will still be in the promotion mix.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in the midst of all this again with the Serbian scoring 10 goals and leading the goal scoring charts. During the 2019/20 season, he was the man who scored the most goals in the division and drove Fulham to a Premier League promotion. But after reaching the top flight, manager Scott Parker benched his number nine and Mitrovic failed to create an impact resulting in the Cottagers going down again after spending just one season in the Premier League.
With another promotion battle in front of them, new manager Silva has looked towards Mitrovic and the forward has repaid his trust with 13 goal contributions among 23 goals scored in 11 matches. The 27-year-old has come with all guns blazing and looks like Fulham’s biggest threat in front of goal.
We take a look at his stats.
Mitrovic has covered a lot of ground playing from his defensive third to the opposition six-yard box. Quite surprisingly for a centre-forward, he has spent most of his time near the centre line in midfield -the red and orange zones in the above image shows that. Along with that, the Serbian has drifted towards both the wings time and again to provide width and support while others make runs into the box. Not just a predator in the box, Mitrovic has been really versatile during his time on the pitch, even dropping deep to push the ball forward to create attacks.
He has played passes throughout the pitch but the majority of them have been outside the opposition box in the attacking third and near the centre. Mitrovic has always looked for chances to create attacks and most of his passes have been of a progressive manner. Averaging 32 passes and 49 touches per 90, he has completed a total of 345 passes racking up an accuracy of 78%. Though he has not delivered any crosses, he has attempted to play in a lot of through balls into the box with xT as high as 0.2750 while managing to provide three assists as well.
He has taken loads of shots, most of them from the left side of the penalty area. He has been really precise in front of goal making the goalkeepers try hard every time with a shot accuracy of 50%. All of his 10 goals have come from inside the box and he has been averaging a goal every 96 minutes in the league, which roughly translates into a goal every match. His work rate has been tremendous and though he has spent most of his time near the centre, he has always been able to get back up into good goal scoring positions and is on a real hot spree of nagging up goals.
With an xG of 10.400, he leads the metric for the most xG accumulated by any player in the league and is way ahead of Ben Brereton in second position with 8.060. His total number of goals scored and xG has been on par and he has been absolutely dangerous with the ball at his feet.
With an expected goal contribution of 11.330, the highest in the league, he has clearly overperformed the metric with 13 direct goal contributions – 10 goals and three assists. Needless to say, he has been the most influential player among all and has made things happen for the Cottagers whenever required.
Mitrovic ranks second in the league with the most shots on target with 20, just one behind Viktor Gyokeres. He has been the most clinical player of all scoring 10 goals from 20 shots, boasting an extremely effective goal conversion rate.
A really hardworking player, he holds the second-most touches in the penalty box with 59, even after spending a lot of time away from the penalty box. He has rarely failed to be in the correct positions till now.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has arguably been the best player in the division with the most goals and goal contributions. He has rarely failed to rise up to the occasion and always been the go-to man for Fulham. He most certainly leads the ranks in being the Championship player of the season, though a lot of the season is yet to be played. But Craven Cottage needs Mitrovic to perform consistently like he has if they hope of getting back in the Premier League again.