Newcastle United enjoyed another successful weekend in the Premier League as they extended their unbeaten run to six games in the competition.
They held West Ham United to a 1-1 draw away from home as Joe Willock’s improvised finish secured a point for Eddie Howe’s side.
It was also a big weekend for a Magpies player out on loan as Elliot Anderson scored his first senior goal for Bristol Rovers against Stevenage.
The teenage attacking midfielder has enjoyed a sublime start to life in League One since leaving St. James’ Park on loan and is showing that he can produce at senior level.
As per SofaScore, he won six of his nine ground duels, created four chances and picked up a goal and an assist against Stevenage. He has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.34 across five third-tier outings, winning 35 duels, creating ten chances and making 13 tackles.
The 19-year-old has also completed 83% of his attempted dribbles and 81% of his passes. This shows that he is reliable in possession and the aforementioned statistics highlight his quality on and off the ball as he works hard to win possession back and then makes things happen in the final third.
Anderson is showing that he has the potential to play at a higher level as he has been outstanding for Bristol Rovers and Eddie Howe could save PIF millions in the summer by offering him a chance in the Newcastle side.
“As soon as he comes onto the pitch, he accepts the ball, receives the ball. He’s got that lovely way of never looking like he’s rushed. It’s effortless to him and easy.
“So we hope he’s got a big future. He’ll remember his debut today, he could have scored in the last minute, couldn’t he. What a wonderful debut that would have been but I’m very pleased with his progress and he’s one that we hope can do us a good turn over the season.”
However, he never kicked on under Bruce and this loan spell in League One could be the kickstarter he needs to push on and make the grade at St. James’ Park next season. He is showing that he can be an excellent box-to-box midfielder at that level and he has plenty of time left ahead of him, at the age of 19, to develop further and show off his talent in the Premier League.
Howe must offer him the chance to show what he can do in the summer as his emergence would allow Newcastle to avoid spending big money on a new midfield addition. He could take up a spot in the first-team that would otherwise be filled by a new signing, saving the club a shedload and delighting the fans with one of their own getting time in the first-team.