Newcastle forward Aleksandar Mitrovic admitted his transfer deadline day was ‘long and stressful’ but is glad he has linked up with Fulham until the end of the season.
The Serbian forward had seemed set to return to former side Anderlecht on loan, but after flying to Brussels, that move fell through late in the day.
With Newcastle securing the loan signing of Islam Slimani, Mitrovic was left frantically searching for an alternative move, or he would have to face up to being the Magpies’ fourth choice forward.
A move to French side Bordeaux had been mooted, but it was Championship side Fulham who Mitrovic opted for in the end.
And after completing a deal at the 11th hour, Mitrovic revealed it was the Cottagers’ style of play and manager Slavisa Jokanovic that convinced him to move to West London.
“It was a really long and stressful day but I am here and I want to be here,” Mitrovic told Fulham’s official website.
“There were a lot of clubs (interested) but I chose Fulham, first of all because of the coach and second of all because of their style of football.
“Fulham have a young and good team and they have scored a lot of goals this season and last season as well.
“For me, Fulham played the best football in the Championship last season and they have continued to play like that this season as well.”
Jokanovic is a fellow Serbian and Mitrovic revealed he had twice been in contact with the Fulham boss over a move in January..
The former Anderlecht forward has spoken openly about the need to play more football and he hopes his spell at Fulham will ensure he will remain Serbia’s key forward at this summer’s World Cup.
“He was a big player and now he is a big coach. He is a big name in Serbia,” Mitrovic added.
“I talked with him yesterday and a few weeks ago and he told me his plans.
“It is a big thing for me and for my country after seven or eight years without a big competition.
“We are finally back where we should be and I am looking forward to it. Yes, I need games, I hope I will get games and I hope I will score goals.”
The 23-year-old helped Newcastle win the Championship title last season.
For the most part, he played second fiddle to Dwight Gayle in the Magpies’ pecking order, but he feels his experience of the division can help Fulham achieve automatic promotion.
“The key is to get promoted this season,” Mitrovic continued.
“I think we should be in the top two. We are not at the moment but if we continue like this I think we have a big chance of getting promoted.
“The Championship is a really long competition and we have to go game by game but we will see.
“I played last season in the Championship with Newcastle and it is a really physical league.
“It is a marathon not a sprint and there is no easy games in this league. We are in the top six at the moment and we need to aim to get promoted.
“Fulham has a big history, we have good players, good staff and we have all that we need to get promoted.”
Mitrovic enjoyed a positive relationship with Newcastle fans, and he hopes his passion on the pitch will help him establish a similar rapport with the Fulham supporters.
“I had a really good relationship with the fans of Newcastle since the first moment. I don’t see why I can’t do the same here.
“I am passionate and all fans are like this so I think we will have a good relationship.”
Mitrovic is in line to make his Fulham debut on Saturday, as they welcome Nottingham Forest to Craven Cottage where he could face another Toon loan player ... Jack Colback.