[dropcap]S[/dropcap]illy season is already underway despite the 2014-15 campaign still having the small matter of the Champions League final to play, with the European press caught up in a transfer frenzy.
Nothing gets pulses racing or column inches filled more than a predatory goalscoring striker, with plenty of world-class centre forwards and their respective futures points of contention this summer.
However, the potential to unearth a possible future world beater exists for goal-shy teams across the continent, with youthful Serbian sharpshooter Aleksandar Mitrović displaying all the required virtues to be a hit in one of Europe’s top leagues.
Linked with Liverpool, Manchester United and countless other Premier League clubs over recent months and longer, it is easy to see why the 20-year-old Anderlecht striker is causing raving reports from club scouts.
Fast, powerful, intelligent and lethal when given an opportunity, Mitrović is quite possibly the brightest young Serbian player in a talented generation that threatens to thrive at national level.
A product of the fabled Partizan Belgrade youth set-up, the able striker only needed a single season in the club’s first team before being snapped up by a bigger fish.
The move to Belgian side Anderlecht for a significant €5 million fee was the perfect switch, as it allowed Mitrović the chance to continue to play regularly but also to progress through experiencing life abroad and competing in the Champions League.
While still on the books of Partizan, the impressive forward was a prominent feature of his nation’s youth-grade teams, bagging goals and delighting onlookers with stellar displays for the under-19 and 21 outfits respectively.
When the call up to the senior squad came it was a bold decision by Siniša Mihajlović given that the player was still only 18, but Mitrović has proven that he is good enough to play at international level.
Back at Anderlecht, it took the Serb little time to adapt to life at the historic Belgian club and he was immediately thrown into the first team.
Mitrović rewarded his new employers’ faith with goals, netting 16 Pro League goals to fire his side to the national title in his debut campaign.
On the continent, Mitrović’s most notable moment came in the Champions League, when he scored a last-minute equaliser to see Anderlecht come from three goals down to claim a plucky 3-3 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Looking at the Belgian outfit’s squad, it is loaded with young talent.
The likes of Youri Tielemans and Dennis Praet have resisted the urge to jump ship and move abroad, with their continued personal development both on and off the pitch the priority with their boyhood clubs.
For Mitrović, there is no doubting that he is jewel in the Anderlecht crown and is already at a stage where his feet will be itching to move to a bigger club.
Just who or where that club will be remains to be seen, with the Serbia international needing to consider his options carefully and assured regular first-team action is part of any deal to see him leave Belgium.
However, still only 20 and full of potential, this confident striker looks set to be a star for club and country for the foreseeable future.
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