Stoke City are among a growing group of clubs who are apparently keeping track of the availability of Newcastle United prospect Elliot Anderson.
The versatile 19-year-old midfielder played a leading role in Bristol Rovers’ push to win promotion from League Two after sealing a loan switch at the end of January. Now Eddie Howe is set to assess his progress at Newcastle in pre-season but Championship and League One managers are on high alert if he gets the green light for another loan move.
The Northern Echo claim that Stoke, Reading and West Bromwich Albion as well as Sheffield Wednesday, “are all believed to have made contact with Newcastle officials”. Anderson can play in midfield or on the left wing and has scored seven times in 21 appearances under Joey Barton and alongside Glenn Whelan and Connor Taylor at Bristol Rovers.
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Taylor, who will return to Stoke to claim his place under Michael O’Neill in pre-season, told BristolLive after a winning game against Colchester: “I’ve played him a few times and he’s always been the player you you focus on analyzing matches He came here and it was a different sauce.
“I think it’s his arrogance on a football pitch. He really believes in himself and that’s the most important thing when you go out on loan. He came here and he wants to prove a point and he does it. certainly does.
“He can really do it all. He’s strong enough to hold the ball and roll defenders, dribble past players, score good goals and he’s been the best shot for us.
“It wasn’t just his focus, there were a few moments where you stood there and you can’t believe how he managed to get into the positions he’s in. And it’s not just him , we have many players who have produced goals and moments like that and that’s a testament to the guys in the dressing room.”
Anderson has been tentatively compared to Paul Gascoigne, who started his Newcastle career alongside O’Neill in the 1980s, and Peter Beardsley.
Veteran Newcastle scout Graham Carr told the Daily mail: “He’s the best young player I’ve seen in a long time. Newcastle haven’t produced anyone like him, in terms of technical gifts, probably since Gazza.
“He plays with a swagger. Every time he has the ball you knew something was going to happen. He always wants to dribble and moves fast. He knows he’s good, but there’s no wrong with that.”
He added: “He’s classy. He receives the ball like Peter Beardsley. He kills it and moves it in one motion. It’s a gift.”
Barton referred to Diego Maradona saying, “I listened to the Bill Shankly tapes a lot today. He talked a lot about a 19-year-old Diego Maradona and how he slows down in the penalty area, just like Elliot Anderson does. Such talent.”
BristolLive editor James Piercy has suggested Rovers fans have fallen in love with a player on loan.
He said: “After scoring a sensational solo goal to help overcome Harrogate, Anderson provided Mem dazzle four days later as his strike sank Colchester United and propelled Rovers into the League Two play-offs. for the first time this season.
“But while his goals obviously turn heads, what’s remarkable is that at 19 he’s not just showing flashes of Premier League quality magic in games, he’s a driving force in this which is an incredibly difficult and challenging league, physically as well as mentally.
“Newcastle’s concern about letting one of their best talents drop two divisions, having preferred a move to the Championship, would be that their natural technical instincts and talents could be swallowed up by fourth tier physicality. It’s not the case, and, if so, Anderson goes along in that department.
“As the cliché goes, better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. And that could be increasingly applicable for Anderson as Newcastle’s desire for a Championship loan could turn into an even bigger ambition. in 2022/23, that is the standard of his game.”