Newcastle United have landed a huge boost ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with West Bromwich Albion as Elliot Anderson is expected to be fit.
That’s according to The Shields Gazette, who note that the 18-year-old has recovered from an ankle injury sustained during an Under 23s clash with the Baggies’ academy last week.
The blow prevented Anderson from playing any role in Steve Bruce’s plans as the Magpies drew 1-1 with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, along with representing Chris Hogg’s junior side as they lost 2-1 at home to Reading on Monday.
Anderson is now expected to be one of the contenders to replace Miguel Almiron at the Hawthorns on Sunday, after Bruce lost his Paraguayan playmaker due to a knee injury as one of three casualties against Wolves.
Allan Saint-Maximin sustained a groin issue during the draw, and will now join top-scorer Callum Wilson on the sidelines after the French wing wizard was ruled out until April.
Having Anderson available as well will come as a huge boost for Bruce, with the academy product expected to be in the mix to replace Almiron beside the likes of Ryan Fraser, Jacob Murphy and Jeff Hendrick.
Bruce awarded Anderson his senior Newcastle debut away to Arsenal in the second half of January’s FA Cup tie, before introducing the 18-year-old to the Premier League for the final three minutes at the Emirates Stadium nine days later.
The North Shields-born prospect is yet to feature for the Toon first-team since facing the Gunners, but has seven goals and one assist in nine U23s outings after finding the back of the net against West Brom in a 3-2 PL2 win last week.
Bruce described Anderson’s debut at Arsenal as a “big positive” as the attacking midfielder’s performance instilled a sense of confidence in the United head coach.
“Big positive. I thought the kid was very, very good. He’s been with us, knocking on the door, for a while now, so it was good to see him making his way. He’s got a big future ahead of him, hopefully,” Bruce noted after the Emirates Stadium affair.
Anderson has been named as an unused substitute on three occasions since facing Arsenal, but the Scotland U19 international does not want to settle for a seat on the bench.
“I’ve played twice, come on but I want to be playing more, even if you’re playing a lot you want to be playing more,” he told NUFC TV. “As a footballer, you need to keep pushing and pushing, so I’ll continue to work hard and take my chances.
“Making my debut at the Emirates was massive but it wouldn’t be the same feeling making it at St. James’, so I’m waiting for that to come – the day that happens it will probably be the best day of my life, hopefully with the fans back. I can’t wait.”
Sunday’s clash with West Brom may not be at home so Anderson would have to wait for his St. James’ Park bow, but Bruce should see it as a boost having the Newcastle talent back fit, even if he doesn’t want to start the youngster, he could be a more than useful option coming off the bench.
AND in other news, an “absolutely awesome” titan has been tipped to quit Newcastle this summer…