Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic wants to become a legend like Alan Shearer at St James’ Park.
Ahead of Sunday’s crucial Wear-Tyne derby against rivals Sunderland, the close-season signing from Anderlecht discussed his hopes for his career with his new side.
Mitrovic understands the history at Newcastle and is desperate to ensure his style of play emulates that of Shearer so that he can one day earn the fabled number nine shirt for himself.
“Here it is like a religion to have a real number nine strong striker,” he told the Mirror.
“This is the most special place for strikers to play. All strikers who score here are big players and they come after legends. It is an honour to be a striker here. I hope I have a lot of goals here to celebrate.
“I always look at those legends. Shearer is number one here. Everyone was behind him. He did a lot for this club and this is how I want to play. Maybe one day I can become a legend. It is just beginning.
“I have 204 goals to go! I have time! Shearer came here when he was 26 until 36. Why not!
“I hope to meet him as he is my idol. I only came here two months ago and I don’t want to leave soon, so it [a meeting] will happen.
“I want to earn the number nine It is a big responsibility at this club. We know who was number nine before. You earn it by scoring big goals in games like Sunday. For now, I am happy with 45.”
Mitrovic hopes to use his experience of playing in tense derbies between Partizan Belgrade and Red Star Belgrade when it comes to facing Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
The striker continued: “We talk about dangerous derby games – that is a dangerous game!
“In Serbia, [there is] so much rivalry from the fans. Out on the pitch, before and after the game, there is really a problem of fights between the fans. It is really dangerous.
“But I play two derbies and I had really good experience from them. We are black and white, they are red and white, and in Serbia it is the same. It is a coincidence and a good omen!”