For much of his career, where Aleksandar Prijović has gone, Aleksandar Prijović has scored and the towering Serbian forward believes he still has plenty of his best football yet to come.
The 31-year old joins Western United following being released by Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad and looms as a central figure of new coach John Aloisi’s plans for the upcoming A-League Men’s season.
Prijović’s arrival will also help fill the gaping hole left by the competition’s greatest ever scorer Besart Berisha – who was released by the club at the end of last season – but also remedy a sputtering attack which was the second worst last season (30 goals, only three in their last nine).
The 13-time Serbian international, however, isn’t phased by the task and is adamant that he still has plenty to offer leading United’s attack.
“I’m very motivated, I put enough pressure on myself all my life as a professional football player, (always) wanting to score goals, winning trophies,” Prijovic said.
“I’ve been doing pretty well in that so far and I believe I will do much better,
“I’m somebody that works hard and wants to compete and grow and be better from day to day, so I don’t see any pressure from outside. I do that already for myself.
“I’m highly motivated and I’m in my best years as a striker, so I’m not worried too much about that (filling Berisha’s shoes).”
Despite fielding offers from clubs in both Europe and Asia, Prijović instead decided to head to Australia as he felt the club offered him the “full package” in terms of lifestyle and opportunity.
Prijović boasts quite the chequered resume having featured and scored in both the Champions League and Europa League for Legia Warsaw and PAOK respectively.
However, it was his stint at the latter where he experienced a career ‘purple patch’ scoring 55 goals in 86 games and helping the Greek side to their first Super League title in 34 years and two Greek Super Cups – along with winning the Golden Boot in 2018.
His career-best form led to him being selected in Serbia’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad – featuring only once in their group stage clash against Costa Rica.
Just like his predecessor Berisha, Prijović’s best work is done inside the box, blending a superb eye for goal with tremendous positioning and an enormous frame which is sure to cause headaches for opposition defenders.
“(I’m a) finisher in the box, that’s my zone, that’s where I’m dangerous,” Prijović said.
“My body also is a plus in building up and holding up the ball, headers. For a striker, there is in my case good abilities.”
Prijović will sit out United’s upcoming pre-season friendly against Melbourne City on Friday and is likely to miss the ‘rematch’ against the two sides a week later, as he gets up to speed following an early release from quarantine.
Instead, he’s set his sights on being ready for their season opener against cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory on November 20 at GMHBA Stadium.