Aleksandar Mitrovic announced his arrival as a Premier League player with a performance of real steel on his first start for Newcastle United against Premier League title hopefuls Manchester United.
During a day of resilient defending and few attacking chances for the Magpies, the Serbian – who joined the club from Belgian club Anderlecht this summer – led the line for Steve McClaren’s side with tremendous confidence.
Mitrovic was the visitors most threatening player in the final third and he came close to opening the scoring for Newcastle when his header struck Sergio Romero’s crossbar.
|Match||Total Shots||Shooting Accuracy (%)||Key Passes||Accurate Passes||Passing Accuracy (%)||Successful Dribbles||Aerial Duels Won||Times Dispossessed||Mins Played|
|Aleksandar Mitrovic||Man Utd vs Newcastle||4||0||0||16||70||2||3||1||88|
Despite failing to hit the target from any of his four attempts, he posed a constant danger to the opposition, with his strength and aerial ability – he won three headed duels – proving too much for the Red Devils to contend at times.
As an attacking outlet he offered tremendous relief to a Newcastle side barraged by a constant onslaught from the Manchester United attack. On the ball, his distribution proved relatively lackadaisical, but the early signs of his link-up play were evident.
If his efforts in advanced positions proved insufficient to please the fans, his defensive contribution was also highly commendable – he weighed in with three tackles in total, while conceding three fouls in his eagerness to recover possession.
From looking a yellow card waiting to happen, to showing the ability worthy of a prolific Premier League striker, Mitrovic’s maiden start for the Magpies was bursting to the brink with positives.
Not only was his work-rate up front impressive, so was his discipline in a difficult-to-master role. It is not always easy to play as a lone striker – as his opposite number, Wayne Rooney, proved – but the young Serbian stuck to the task valiantly.