21 Striker Newcastle United Serbia
Aleksandar is a goal scorer; plain and simple. He isn’t the quickest of forwards but fast enough. He doesn’t have the lightest of touches, but can control a tricky pass. He’s not a bulldozer that defenders bounce off, but can still shield the ball from his marker. Mitrović can do just enough in all the right areas to be passable, and he combines that all rather nicely into being a potent striker.
His anticipations of crosses and movement in the penalty area is second to none. Time after time we have seen him take a little step off the defender to find space or perfectly time his run to ghost in between two centre-backs and make both look very silly. He makes sure he is in the right areas to score the “easy” goals.
If he has a midfield around him, working to create chances he will reward them with a hatful of goals. In a struggling team – much like Newcastle in the early parts of this season – the chances won’t come so easy and he can look like a passenger; the first player sacrificed when a manager elects for passion and hard-working throughout the team.
More worryingly is the temper that the immature forward can show. Aleksandar is a five year-old stuck in a grown man’s body – keep him happy with regular football and he’ll do everything you ask; but upset him in the smallest of ways and he is of no use whatsoever.
2015 has been…
…very close to a perfect summation of everything good and bad about the Serbian. Mitrović finished his time with Anderlecht in pretty spectacular form, scoring 10 times in his final 14 league appearances. He did his job, scored goals and can’t be blamed for the Purple and White missing out the league title.
Since moving to Newcastle over the summer, there has been little of the free-scoring Mitrović to enjoy. Booked mere seconds into his Premier League debut, he followed it up three games later with a straight-red against Arsenal. Rather predictably, he has struggled to really settle into the team.
Newcastle as a whole aren’t playing well – and aren’t being run particularly well either – and that has meant opportunities for Aleksandar to build up momentum has been lacking.
It’s hard to say. Mitrović is probably the best finisher in the Newcastle squad but in recent weeks he has been overlooked for both Papiss Cisse and Ayoze Perez. He has enjoyed a run of games in the starting XI, but didn’t respond with enough goals and is now filling the role of back-up.
He has the ability to score the Premier League. He simply needs to prove he has the temperament to handle chances not being as freely available as they were in the Jupiler. There is also the added pressure of the transfer fee. Newcastle reportedly spent somewhere in the region of £13 million and a return on that will be expected; in goals or the price they eventually sell him for.
C Time to grow up