Steve McClaren has said he hopes Aleksandar Mitrovic can follow the footsteps of former Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku, who has become one of the best strikers in the Premier League and is having another good season at Everton with 16 goals in 21 total appearances in all competitions.
Mitrovic has matched Lukaku’s form at Anderlecht with both strikers being top goalscorers when Anderlecht won the Belgium League, and from that Romelu has gone on to score 38 goals in 84 Premier League appearances for the Toffees since signing for them from Chelsea.
The 22 year-old Belgium International will face Newcastle on Boxing Day.
Romelu Lukaka while at Anderlecht
Mitrovic has had a tough start to his Newcastle career and has scored only three goals since his arrival for £13M from Anderlecht over the summer.
Steve McClaren thinks that Mitro has the ability to follow in the footsteps of Romelu:
“Mitro will know about Lukaku from Anderlecht – they have a very good recruitment policy and buy good strikers.”
“I remember Lukaku when he was a young lad and he was the same size he is now.” “He’s every effective. He’s had quite a journey via a few loans.”
“He’s had to develop and now he’s looking like the real deal. His technique has improved over time and he’s now the complete center-forward.”
“Mitro is developing and is a few years behind, but he also has his own game and has shown that he can bully defenders – he did that against Chelsea. That’s what we want from him.”
“He needs to hold that emotion and control it, but we should never take the aggression out of his game.”
“He needed to come out for a few games. He’s done that now and has his focus and energy and intensity back.” “He has shown that in the last two games.”
“He came on against Spurs and helped win it for us and he’s been boosted by that goal. But you don’t know with young players, we’re just hoping he has those spells where he is very effective.”
“He needs to score more goals, yes, but he was bought as a development player and someone with potential, and that’s how he’s playing at the moment.”
“There are a lot of things he has to work on and get right.” “He’s got talent and all the ingredients, he just needs to pull it all together.”
“But we’re hoping he can make an impact this season, the quicker the better.”
Lukaku is only 16 months older than Mitrovic, but signed on at Chelsea back in the summer of 2011 when he had only just turned 18.
He’s had a number of loan spells at West Brom and initially at Everton before finally signing on full time at the Merseyside club in the summer of last year on a five year deal.
So our own Aleksandar Mitrovic has a role model to follow in the Premier League and we just hope he can develop into the player Romelu has become in England.
We think Aleksandar can do that – he has the talent – the question is whether he has also got the application to succeed.
We hope so.