This weekend, Aleksandar Mitrovic will return to former club Newcastle with Fulham in the Premier League. Despite impressing at his current club, the Serb struggled in his three year-spell with the Magpies.
Current Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has claimed that he knows why Mitrovic failed at the club, stating that he simply didn't get enough time to develop as a player at Newcastle.
The 24-year-old striker was relegated in his first season with the Magpies and then found minutes hard to come by playing in the Championship the following season. He was loaned out to the Cottagers in his final year as a Toon player and eventually joined the team on a permanent basis in 2018.
Mitrovic returns to St James' Park on Saturday - speaking ahead of the clash Ranieri said, quoted by the Chronicle: "Aleksandar in Newcastle didn't do a very good job because when a player comes from another country it's not easy to adapt immediately to English football.
"But in Fulham he's adapted very, very well. And I hope he can do a very outstanding match.
"I don't know if they will give a warm welcome to Aleksandar, but I hope Aleksandar will make a very good match."
The Italian boss further elaborated in how the transition to the English game can be difficult for most players, saying: "When you play in another country you can touch the ball two, three times. When you play in England one touch is too much, you have to play half-touch.
"That's it. And the player who came in had to think about it. You try to transmit this but only the experience, you need six months, maybe one year, to understand this."
Ranieri added that he hopes Mitrovic's failure at Newcastle would spur him on into putting out a strong performance in the Premier League over the weekend.
"I hope when a player goes back to his previous club he wants to show something more.I hope for everything for Aleksandar, believe me, I pray," he confessed.