Newcastle-linked Mitrovic hits back at criticism over his weight and effort

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Anderlecht striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has been strongly linked with Newcastle, and has hit out at his critics.

Newcastle have struck gold with the signing of Spanish striker Ayoze Perez, but Magpies boss Alan Pardew needs to find a partner for the 21-year-old.

Other summer signings Emmanuel Riviere and Facundo Ferreyra have made absolutely no impact whatsoever, and Pardew may well look for a new signing in January.

According to reports, Newcastle want to snap up Anderlecht's Serbian target man Aleksandar Mitrovic in what would be a deal worth around £10m to £12m.

The 20-year-old has been nothing short of a goal machine for the Belgian side, scoring 28 goals in 61 games - including Anderlecht's dramatic late equaliser against Arsenal in the Champions League in November.

However, as a bulky striker, many people have suggested that Mitrovic is overweight, and he's been heavily criticised in Belgium for his size and his lack of effort.

Now though, Mitrovic has bounced back well this season, and has hit back at his critics, saying it has been a tough time for him personally.

"It's not easy with the criticism of journalists and supporters," said Mitrovic. "I have put a very difficult period behind me, I'm all the way back, I've rebounded and I'm glad."

"I started a few games on the bench, but the club must give all players a fair chance. It is up to the coach to decide who will play and who will not," he added.

AC Milan are also interested in Mitrovic, but he'd be the perfect compliment to Perez at Newcastle - if he can keep on top of his weight issues.

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