Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 40-goal season in focus

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has become the first man in nearly 30 years to score 40 goals in an English league season.

Since Guy Whittingham, for Portsmouth in 1992-93, no one had reached the magic milestone in the first four levels.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at Mitrovic’s amazing season.

this is 40

Aleksandar Mitrovic, centre, celebrates his hat-trick against Swansea

Aleksandar Mitrovic, centre, celebrates his hat-trick against Swansea (John Walton/PA)

Mitrovic has found the net in 26 of his 40 league appearances this season, scoring more than once in 11 of those matches.

That includes three hat-tricks, with the Serbian international scoring all of his side’s goals in a 3-1 win over Swansea and 3-0 win against West Brom and also trebled in January’s 6-2 win over BristolCity.

The latter came in the midst of the Cottagers’ run of 19 goals in three games, Mitrovic with five of them after a 7-0 win at Reading gave him one of eight braces this season. He also scored twice in both meetings for QPR, at home to Millwall, Peterborough and Preston and at Birmingham and Nottingham Forest.

Coventry became the first team all season to prevent Mitrovic from scoring in two appearances and have scored against 19 separate opponents so far.

With a goal every 93.1 minutes, including stoppage time, and having started all but two games and been substituted just 10 times, often late in the game, a Mitrovic goal has often been felt like something inevitable.

His account includes six penalties and all 40 have come from inside the penalty area.

place in history

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Ricky Miller had a 40-goal NL season for Dover in 2016-17, but Whittingham’s 42 made him the last man to achieve the feat in the top four tiers.

Derek Dooley’s 46 for Sheffield Wednesday in 1951-52 is the post-war record for the second tier, and the next mark in Whittingham’s sights, while the all-time record at that tier is 59, by George Camsell for Middlesbrough in 1926-27.

Camsell’s tally was surpassed by one a year later in the top flight when Everton’s Dixie Dean set an all-time record for an English league season. If Mitrovic reaches 43, he will break into the top 20 on that list.

yo yo man

Aleksandr Mitrovic in action for Newcastle

Since arriving at Newcastle, Aleksandar Mitrovic has been relegated or promoted each season (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Fulham secured promotion on Tuesday night, continuing Mitrovic’s run of being promoted to or relegated from the Premier League in each of the seven seasons he now has in English football.

Having signed for Newcastle in 2015, he and the Magpies dropped to the second tier before bouncing back at the first try.

He moved to then Championship Fulham early in the 2017-18 campaign and helped them rise, only for the Cottagers to yo-yo into the top two divisions in every season since.

This season’s promotion at least sees him better than Whittingham, whose Portsmouth side lost in the play-offs (surprisingly, given Whittingham’s efforts) missed out on automatic promotion for goals scored.

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