Aleksandar Mitrović continues scintillating form in 2022 over the international break with four-goals for Serbia

The FK Partizan academy product became the first Serbian in the nation’s history to hit the 50-goal milestone while enjoying a rich vein of form at the perfect time for club and country

Serbia has hit form at the right time under manager Dragan Stojković as Оrlovi secured two wins on the bounce in the latest UEFA Nations League cycle with a 4-1 drubbing of Sweden which precipitated a 2-0 win over Erling Haaland’s Norway.

The pair of strong results saw the Eastern European powerhouse top UEFA Nations League Group B4 and gain promotion to Nations League A next time around, with Fulham star Aleksandar Mitrović continuing to shine for both club and country in 2022.

A product of the vaunted FK Partizan academy set-up, the Smederevo native became the first Serbian in the nation’s history to hit the 50-goal milestone after a hat-trick against Sweden in Belgrade was followed up by another goal on his international CV in Oslo tonight.

His latest goal exploits highlight a calendar year that has been magnificent from the former RSC Anderlecht starlet, who traditionally had failed to make the grade in the Premier League to a level that was commensurate with the hype that preceded his reputation in Serbia and Belgium when he arrived at Newcastle United in the summer of 2015.

Though he eventually moved on from the Magpies under manager Rafa Benítez, his talent was always readily apparent to the Spanish headmaster despite his allowing the big center-forward to move on to Fulham in the summer of 2018 after a fantastic loan period at Craven Cottage in the second half of the 2017-18 season.

Since his arrival in London, Mitrović has bagged 100 goals in 151 league appearances for the Cottagers between the Championship and the Premier League, which included 26 goals in 2019-20 and a mammoth 43 goals in 2021-22, which helped the club earn promotion back to the top flight of English football on both occasions.

But he has typically struggled to perform consistently when in the PL, managing just 14 goals in 64 appearances in his two previous seasons for the club, but thus far in 2022-23, he has begun to set the record straight at club level and sits second in the league with 6 goals - level with Harry Kane - in just 7 appearances with only the goal machine that is Erling Haaland ahead of him.

Not only has Mitrović helped guide Fulham to a current 6th place holding in the PL before league play resumes this coming weekend, his performances for Serbia alongside starlet Dušan Vlahović have primed Stojković's men to potentially upset the apple cart in Qatar when they come to grips with Brazil, Switzerland, and Cameroon in Group G, with Serbia beginning their tournament against Tite’s Seleção at Lusail Iconic Stadium on 24 November.

Should his rich vein of form in front of goal continue, Mitrović may finally be ready to prove that his potential was there all along and that some players just take longer than others to hit the heights they may have always been destined for.

Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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