With the Premier League entering the closing stages of the season, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce must surely now consider unleashing Elliot Anderson.
The 18-year-old has been one of the shining lights of the club’s U23s this season, scoring five goals and providing a further assist in just nine games at Premier League 2 level.
The Athletic’s Chris Waugh delivered a key update on where things currently stand with Anderson following the Magpies’ 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Aston Villa in the FA Youth Cup earlier this week, saying: “Anderson continues to train with the NUFC first team and there have been suggestions that, with Steve Bruce’s side edging towards safety, the 18-year-old may get a few cameo appearances between now and the end of the season.”
The attacking midfielder’s knack for breaking into the box and grabbing a goal is something Newcastle have only really seen from Joe Willock in recent weeks, with The Chronicle journalist Lee Ryder suggesting earlier in the season that Anderson is “knocking on Steve Bruce’s door now” thanks to his performance.
It’s over and #nufc are beaten 3-2 but the big story of the night is Elliot Anderson is effectively banging on Steve Bruce’s door now.
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) November 17, 2020
His former youth coach John Forrest, meanwhile, told The Athletic: “He knew how to dominate a game, which is a natural skill that’s hard to coach. He really was an outstanding footballer. He stood out, even then.”
Several of Anderson’s former Newcastle academy team-mates meanwhile have told The Athletic that, not only was he the “most talented player” in the team, he was also “supremely driven”.
Given the fact the Magpies appear to be safe from the drop, and that they have nothing really to play for, bringing in an academy talent like Anderson into the fold can just raise the energy and excitement levels at St James’ Park and also give him some valuable experience. Furthermore, it will allow Bruce to assess whether he thinks the youngster could be a viable option for him next season.