20 Striker Anderlecht Serbia
2014 has been...
The more time we have spent watching Aleksandar Mitrović through the last 12 months, the more we have become convinced that he can score goals regularly for basically any team on the planet. Everything about his style of play suggests that he could slot into any starting 11 and quickly become the guy on the end of every cross.
He retains a calm head in the final moments of a chance and he reacts to every shot by a team-mate as though it is going to bounce back into his path and he is ready to claim the goal for himself. However, it is his movement in the final third that we really like. Aleksandar constantly puts himself in places to score goals. Whether that means running across the defender to glance in a near-post header, making a move for the six yard box to side foot home a drilled cross or taking a step back that ensures the arched pass flies just beyond the centre back, Mitrović is brilliant without the ball and a joy for his wingers to play with.
It’s nothing overly fancy or all that ground-breaking – it’s just really good centre forward play and we love it. He’s like a young Robbie Keane as he puts himself in all the right positions to finish off the chances created by those around him; and you better believe that is meant as a compliment.
The Serbian knows exactly where the goal is and can rarely be accused of taking an unnecessary first touch. He likes to strike the ball first time and is better in the air that we initially gave him credit for. He showed that with his recent strike against Arsenal in the Champions League that helped the Belgian champions to a 3-3 draw as he darted in front of his marker and flicked the ball goal wards.
Of course, with that Champions League goal against a club in the Premier League and given his young age, the 20 year-old has become a recent favourite of the daily gossip columns in England; and his move out of Belgium may be accelerated up to next month if his agent can do the deal.
Nenad Jestrović, a former Anderlecht and Serbia striker himself, knows what a prospect Aleksandar is. However, given that Aleksandar has been called lazy in the past and is reported to have shown up overweight for pre-season, Jestrović may be keener for his client to secure that big money move before the good times make way for something close to a struggle.
Mitrović scored 18 times in all competitions in 2013/14 and is already up to 11 for 2014/15. He is a striker on the rise, and we hope his next club is somewhere that will see him continue the habit of being a first-team regular. No-one will benefit from Aleksandar spending the next 24 months sitting in a comfortable bucket seat on the bench of the biggest clubs in the world.
If he keeps up the near-perfect start to this season, Anderlecht will have another league title in their possession by the time May rolls around and a bidding war in full flow for their star striker.
"Alex Mitrovic has a love-hate relationship with Anderlecht fans and staff; often overweight but he could be great if he sorts his head out." - John Chapman
"Mitrovic has netted 15 goals in the Jupiler Pro League in 2014, more than any other player (incl. playoffs)." - OptaJoe
C+ Can score goals anywhere and everywhere; and will do so if he takes nothing for granted.
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