The Serbian striker returned to action in the 2-2 draw against Chelsea yesterday.
The Tyneside club splashed out on the Serbian forward in the off-season, being the centre forward and team-mate Chancel Mbemba to St James’ Park from Belgian side Anderlecht.
However, Mitrovic has captured the headlines for the wrong reasons, with a red card against Arsenal and a number of yellow cards having many questioning the attacker’s temperament and mentality.
After serving his suspension for being dismissed against the Gunners, the striker returned to the Newcastle starting XI int he 2-2 draw against Premier League champions Chelsea yesterday, forming a forward pairing with Spaniard Ayoze Perez.
McClaren singled the Serb out for praise in the aftermath of the draw and claimed that Mitrovic can be the man to build a Newcastle team around.
“We have missed him,” The Daily Mail quote McClaren as saying.
“The way we want to play we need a damn good centre-forward. He showed what he brings in terms of being a team player.
“We can build a team around him. I think he has learnt a lot (following his red card). He’s going to be a good player.”
Newcastle have a proud tradition of bullish centre forwards, but the jury is still out on Mitrovic with the St James’ Park faithful.
The Serb showed no lack of passion in the draw with Chelsea, but will need to back this up with goals if the Tyneside club are to fire their way up the table.