Mitrovic can become Newcastle’s Lukaku, says McClaren

Published 12/24/2015, 6:18 AM EST
Football – Newcastle United v Norwich City – Barclays Premier League – St James’ Park – 18/10/15 Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring the fourth goal for Newcastle United Action Images via Reuters / Lee Smith Livepic

REUTERS – Aleksandar Mitrovic can become Newcastle United’s Romelu Lukaku, manager Steve McClaren has said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Everton.

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The Magpies defence will come up against an in-form striker Lukaku, who has scored in his last seven league appearances and is only two goals behind the league’s top-scorer, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy (15).

But Mitrovic has failed to come to grips with football in England’s top-flight so far, having found the back of the net just three times in 15 appearances for the club.

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“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 to develop and now he’s looking like a real deal, the complete centre-forward,” McClaren told British media.

“Mitro is developing and is a few years behind, but Mitro has his own game. He needed to come out (of the side) for a few games.

“He’s done that now and has his focus and energy and intensity back. He needs to score more goals. But he was bought as a development (player) and someone with potential, and that’s how he’s playing at the moment.”

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Mitrovic, who started his last two games on the bench, is likely to return to the starting line-up against Everton because of an injury to Papiss Cisse.

McClaren has reminded the Serbian to control his emotions after the 21-year-old picked up three yellow and one red card so far this campaign.

“He needs to hold that emotion and control it, but we should never take the aggression out of his game. He has bullied defenders — he did that against Chelsea (in September). That’s what we want from him,” McClaren said.

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“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.”

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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