There are few guarantees in life, but certain things can be taken for granted – death, taxes and Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring a hatful of goals in the Championship being among them.
The enigmatic Serb has been at it again in 2021-22, with a quite remarkable strike rate seeing him net at a rate of more than one effort per appearance through the first three-quarters of the season.
When it comes to second-tier competition, there is seemingly no stopping a frontman who boasts a rich history of terrorising opposition defences at that level.
His efforts in the present have seen Fulham become heavy 1/40 favourites for title glory in English Championship betting odds, with Marco Silva’s team well on course to bounce back into the big time at the first attempt.
Those looking for Championship outright tips have known for some time now that the Cottagers are threatening to run away with a crown that they missed out on during previous promotion-winning campaigns of 2017-18 and 2019-20.
Fulham DNA! 🧬
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) August 27, 2021
An ambitious outfit from west London have always had the right formula, but there is not always been tangible reward to show for their efforts. The same can be said for Mitrovic and his Herculean efforts outside of the top flight.
For all of his success one door down from the most prestigious of footballing parties, he has tended to find the going tough when presented with opportunities in which to rub shoulders with the elite.
Hit and miss
Given that goalposts do not move and Fulham have also invested heavily when clambering back up a sporting ladder, it is almost impossible to explain why Mitrovic is so hit and miss between one division and the next.
The Premier League is, quite obviously, the ultimate test and chances will not be as easy to come against Liverpool and Chelsea as they are in meetings with Luton and Coventry. You do, however, get a sense that the main man at Craven Cottage is capable of much more.
It is that which will earn him plenty of favour within fantasy football managers looking for an attacking bargain in 2022-23, with the potential there for a proven performer from outside of the fabled ‘Big Six’ to deliver healthy returns on a relatively small price tag.
— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) November 1, 2021
Many, though, will have had their fingers burnt in the past and will be looking to steer well clear of a character whose performance levels can swing wildly between the sublime and ridiculous.
Through 104 previous outings on a Premier League stage, Mitrovic has found the target just 23 times. He had reached that mark by January 11 in the current campaign, through only 23 outings. More than 60 Championship goals have been recorded across his last two seasons at that level, with a second Golden Boot currently being chased down.
He should be the stuff of fantasy, a dream addition for coaches in virtual and real-life realms, but he remains something of a mystery and knows only too well that he is the only man capable of altering his reputation in the eyes of an expectant global audience.