Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has joined Newcastle on a five-year contract the English Premier League club announced Tuesday.
The 20-year-old will arrive at St James’ Park from Belgian side Anderlecht, subject to visa clearance, for an undisclosed fee but in what Newcastle said was the fourth-biggest deal in their history, with the BBC reporting he had joined in a A?13 million ($20 million, 19 million euros) move.
I hope I can play like Shearer for this club- Mitrovic
“There will be pressure here, for sure, but I like pressure,” Mitrovic said in a club statement.
“I also know about the famous players who have played for Newcastle United, like Alan Shearer who is a hero of mine. I hope I can play like him for this club. It will be an honour.”
Newcastle haven’t won a major trophy since the 1969 Fairs Cup and last season finished just four points above the relegation zone under caretaker manager John Carver.
But the north-east side retain a loyal following and Mitrovic said: “I am so happy to have signed for Newcastle. I visited the stadium yesterday (Monday) and it’s amazing. I have played in a lot of impressive stadiums in my career but St. James’ Park is so big, I can’t wait to play my first game here.
“I know how passionate the fans are. This is a club with a very big history and the fans are a big part of that.”
Mitrovic scored 36 goals in 60 games for Anderlecht
Mitrovic’s two season with Anderlecht saw him score 36 goals in 60 games and win both the Belgian Pro League title and Belgian Super Cup in 2014.
He started his career with Serbian side Teleoptik and has scored one goal in 13 international appearances.
Newcastle manager Steve McClaren was delighted to see Mitrovic follow PSV Eindhoven midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum to St James’ Park and the former England boss said his new forward was a highly-prized player.
“I think this is a fantastic signing for us. We’ve fought off a lot of competition to secure a top young talent in Europe,” he said.
“Aleksandar is someone who can develop with the team and someone who will help us to get to where we want to go.
“As a board we have worked hard to make it happen. It’s another demonstration that we are wanting to push on.”