Newcastle United enjoyed an impressive summer of recruitment with four major deals having been wrapped in recent months, although one addition the Magpies were unable to secure was that of Leicester City playmaker, James Maddison.
The Tynesiders had seemingly set their sights on landing the 25-year-old to help bolster Eddie Howe’s midfield ranks, albeit notably saw an offer of around £50m rejected by the Foxes early last month.
With the Midlands outfit – and their manager Brendan Rodgers – refusing to budge, the Magpies were unable to get the deal over the line, ensuring they missed out on a player who had registered 12 goals and eight assists in the Premier League last term.
Although something of a blow for Howe and co, it could well prove a blessing in disguise should it enable young Elliot Anderson to enjoy a leading role in the side, with the 19-year-old set to be the major beneficiary of the failed Maddison approach.
Much like his compatriot, the teenager also operates as that dynamic link between midfield and attack, with such creative talent having even seen him likened to club legend Peter Beardsley in the recent past.
That quality was also evident during his stunning spell on loan at Bristol Rovers last term in League Two, as the Scotland U21 international scored eight goals and provide five assists in just 21 games for Joey Barton’s side.
Arguably his most telling contribution in that temporary six-month stint saw the Whitley Bay-born starlet net the seventh goal in a final-day rout of Scunthorpe United, with that late strike ultimately steering the lower league outfit to promotion.
Having since returned to his parent club, the £180k-rated sensation has also showcased flickerings of his quality for the St James’ Park outfit so far this term, having featured off the bench in the club’s last three league games.
Howe has subsequently insisted that the highly rated prospect could well be “integral” for the Magpies moving forward this season, although it will no doubt require more than just brief cameos for his talent to truly develop.
Talk of a possible contract extension is no doubt a marker of just how well regarded Anderson is by those at Newcastle, although now is seemingly the chance to hand him a more prominent role, particularly with Jonjo Shelvey currently sidelined and with the club having failed to snap up Maddison.
Not only could the 5-foot-10 menace potentially save his club millions were he catch fire this season – ending the need to splash the cash on the Leicester man – but it would also no doubt be hugely exciting for supporters to see an academy product become a first-team regular.
As pundit Paddy Kenny recently suggested, he could well be like a “new signing” for the club.