Steve McClaren compares Aleksandar Mitrovic to Romelu Lukaku, highlights big difference

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren wants Aleksandar Mitrovic to become Newcastle's Romelu Lukaku.

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has told the Daily Mail that he wants Aleksandar Mitrovic to emulate Everton star Romelu Lukaku.

The Magpies host Everton at St. James' Park on Boxing Day, with McClaren hoping his side can build on winning seven points from their last three games.

They will though run in to an in-form Romelu Lukaku, who has now scored in eight consecutive games for Everton - drawing ever closer to Jamie Vardy's record from earlier this season.

Newcastle will have a hard time handling the Belgian international in this form, but manager McClaren is instead looking at how he can have his own version of the Toffees striker.

Both Lukaku and Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic made their names with Belgian club Anderlecht, and whilst the former is thriving in the Premier League, it's taking Serbian international Mitrovic a little while to settle.

With three goals in 14 games, the burly target man has shown flashes of what he can do, but certainly needs to become more consistent in the Premier League, something Lukaku has added to his game since joining Chelsea from Anderlecht back in 2011.

Now, McClaren has told the Daily Mail that he has always been a big fan of Lukaku, and believes that Mitrovic can become just like the Everton star - but claims the big difference is that Mitrovic is some way behind Lukaku in his development, and is still looking to grow as a player.

"Mitro will know about Lukaku from Anderlecht - they have a very good recruitment policy and buy good strikers," said McClaren. "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 quite a journey via a few loans. He's had to develop and now he's looking like a real deal. His technique has improved over time and he's now the complete centre-forward."

"Mitro is developing and is a few years behind, but he also has his own game and has shown that he can bully defenders – he did that against Chelsea. That's what we want from him. He's need to hold that emotion and control it, but we should never take the aggression out of his game," he added.

Ironically, Mitrovic has been told to be a little bit less aggressive, and many called for Lukaku to be more aggressive over the summer.

He certainly embraced that, and is now a terrifying striker - and if Mitrovic can replicate what Lukaku has done at Everton so far, Newcastle will have a dangerous forward on their hands.

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