Steve McClaren has claimed that Aleksandar Mitrovic 'suffered' during his time at Newcastle as he praised the Fulham hitman for how he has turned things around at Craven Cottage.
Speaking to Football Centre on Sky Sports News (11/02/2020 at 10:25 am), McClaren, who brought the-now thriving player to Newcastle in 2015, claimed that he was too 'immature' and 'hot-headed' during his time in the North East, but he thinks he is now doing 'tremendously well' at his new club.
"They [Fulham] signed him halfway through the season two seasons ago and he got them promotion," McClaren told Sky Sports. "He scored about 15 goals and got them promoted. And he's doing it again.
"We signed him and he was a young player and we wanted him as the number two. Unfortunately, we got injuries and we had to put him as the number one. He was immature and wasn't ready for that. Hot-headed at the time. He got sent off. Discipline. He got frustrated and got down. And it's a different level.
"It's 52,000, you have to handle the pressure, and he was too young to do that. He went out on loan, I thought he would score goals, which he did. He came back and I thought he would carry on scoring goals. And, unfortunately, it wasn't for him and he moved on.
"Newcastle have done the same with Joelinton at this present moment. Another young player who is finding it difficult to establish himself at Newcastle. And maybe, that number nine at Newcastle is a big, big shirt to fill. Mitrovic, Joelinton, for young players it's difficult. Mitrovic suffered [at Newcastle] and has done tremendously well in the Championship."
It was a struggle for Mitrovic during his time at Newcastle, both under McClaren and later on Rafa Benitez, who was later happy to part ways with him.
During the January transfer window of 2018, Fulham, who were then pushing for promotion to the Premier League, signed the 25-year-old on a loan deal.
He made an instant impact in London, as his goals helped fire Fulham to England's top-flight, and they then signed him up on a permanent basis for £22 million [BBC Sport].
His goals weren't enough to keep Fulham in England's top-flight, but that hasn't stopped him from still putting the ball into the back of the net on a consistent basis.
Mitrovic has played 28 Championship games for Scott Parker's side this season, scoring 20 goals and supplying one assist for his teammates [transfermarkt]
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