Newcastle United have claimed that Aleksandar Mitrovic was bought ‘as a development player’ rather than somebody who was expected to do the business from day one.

Steve McClaren says that he had to come out of the Newcastle team and now has his ‘focus, energy and intensity’ back, plus of course that with Papiss Cisse injured, the Head Coach has no choice but to play the Serbian striker.

McClaren’s claims of Mitrovic not being expected to perform straight away this season, are very much at odds with what he said earlier. The United boss having previously stated that they couldn’t afford to have Mitrovic missing through injury or suspension, as he made clear his whole game plan was based around the former Anderlecht striker being the focus of the team.

Steve McClaren has compared Aleksandar Mitrovic with the case of today’s visiting striker Romelu Lukaku, who also arrived in the Premier League from Anderlecht.

The Head Coach’s claims that Lukaku had to develop over time don’t really ring true when you look at his record.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is now 21 years old and Romelu Lukaku a year older, yet just look at what the now Everton striker achieved once he was given his first season of first team football.

2012/13 Playing for West Brom on loan – 17 goals (when he was aged 19)

2013/14 Playing for Everton on loan – 16 goals

2014/15 After signing permanently for Everton – 20 goals

2015/16 For Everton so far this season – 16 goals

It is obvious that Aleksandar Mitrovic needs time to develop to his full potential as a Premier League striker and the point of this piece isn’t to do him down or write him off in any way.

My point is that Newcastle’s transfer plan (if they had one) in the summer was fatally flawed and it was ridiculous to put such responsibility and expectation on a young player arriving from a weaker league like Belgium.

It is obvious that there was no plan B and playing Papiss Cisse is just desperation and no other choice, as I stated above, McClaren himself made clear that he only plan to score goals was based around having Mitrovic on the pitch.

Newcastle desperately needed to bring in another goalscorer in the summer and have paid the price for failing to do so.

Steve McClaren:

“I remember Lukaku when he was a young lad and he was the same size he is now, he is every effective.

“He has had to develop and now he’s looking like a real deal – the complete centre-forward.

“Mitrovic is developing and is a few years behind but Mitro has his own game.

“He needed to come out (of the team) for a few games, he has done that now and has his focus and energy and intensity back.

“He needs to score more goals but he was bought as a development player, someone with potential, and that is how he is playing at the moment.”

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