Aleksandar Mitrovic: Newcastle tried to sign me last summer

Aleksandar Mitrovic has recently signed for Newcastle United.

Mitrovic has finally arrived at St James’ Park, after a long protracted transfer saga, but he has told the Chronicle that he could have been signed last summer after the club asked for him.

The Serbian striker said: “I have known that Newcastle have been interested in me for a long time. Last season they also asked for me. This season they showed me that they really wanted me so this is the reason I came here. Also, I’m a long time fan of Newcastle and I followed Newcastle. I’m very proud to be here and I’m happy.”

If Mitrovic arrived at Newcastle last summer, the Magpies may not have endured such a tough season - as they spent much of the campaign fighting near the relegation places.

However, spending the 2014/15 season with Anderlecht could have proven vital to Mitrovic’s development, as he enjoyed his most prolific season in front of goal.

He may have cost more this summer than if Newcastle had managed to agree a deal for him last term, but he also showed that he could impress at the top level - consistently scoring in the league and Champions League.

In the 2013/14 campaign, Mitrovic netted 19 goals in 45 games, showing a promising attacking talent, but to then improve on that by scoring 50 times in 2014/15 proves that he is cut out for the top level.

Newcastle may have benefitted from signing Mitrovic last summer, but in the grand scheme of things, staying at Anderlecht was best for his development - and that will help the Magpies this coming campaign.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch