When Newcastle Utd were bought by Saudi Arabia’s PIF in a £305m takeover along with minority shareholders PCP Capital and the Reuben Brothers in October 2021, football fans across the world were strapping themselves in for another big spending football club to rival Manchester City in the Premier League.
Fast forward almost 18 months and the Tyneside club have spent £250m on new players and have gone from relegation trouble in the 2021/22 season to challenging for the Champions League places and there has been a non-stop party in the bars of Newcastle’s Quayside and Bigg Market.
But amongst the expensive arrivals of £63m man Alexander Isak and firm fan favourite Bruno Guimaraes, there is a homegrown Geordie in the squad looking to make major waves at his hometown club and stake a claim in the first team. Kieran Trippier said of Anderson, “it’s crazy really how good he is.”
19 year old Elliot Anderson has waited patiently for his chance to impress this season with only a handful of opportunities, mainly in cup games but after an impressive 45 minute cameo in Newcastle’s last outing at Nottingham Forest, Eddie Howe may not be able to ignore the wonderkid for much longer.
Newcastle fans have known about Elliot Anderson for a couple of seasons now and ex-Magpie Joey Barton took him on loan last year at Bristol Rovers where he was that impressed by him he labelled him the “Geordie Maradona”. With 8 goals and 5 assists in 21 appearances including the goal that grabbed Bristol Rovers promotion to League One on the final day, his loan move was a big success.
Eddie Howe had a decision to make at the start of this season whether to loan the Whitley Bay born Anderson out again or keep him in and around the squad. Howe chose the latter, however, he has only been picked to start one Premier League all season in the home game against Liverpool and even then he was substituted off early to accommodate for Nick Pope’s early red card.
First Newcastle United goal cruelly and bizarrely took off him
It has been a frustrating time him for Anderson personally despite no doubt loving his hometown club battling out with Manchester Utd, Tottenham and Liverpool for those all important Champions League spots and being apart of a Wembley final for the first time since 1999.
His frustration seemed to vanish in an instant when he was brought off the bench at half-time away at Nottingham Forest a forenight ago when burying a Alan Shearer-esque header in front of the delirious Toon Army supporters in the away end.
But no, VAR decided to ask referee Paul Tierney to have a look at a potential offside and to all of the football worlds astonishment, Tierney there was an offside in the build up and decided to disallow the goal. This was a cruel decision on Anderson which robbed him of his first goal for the club he has supported his whole life.
Despite this, his impact on the game was very apparent and hugely impressive. Replacing the sluggish Allan Saint-Maximin, the young Geordie terrorised the Forest defence with his energy, trickery on the ball and determination to carry the ball into the box at every opportunity. He was like a young Paul Gascoigne at times.
His potential is very high and much like Phil Foden at Manchester City, a young homegrown player could force his way into the first team for the foreseeable despite the acquisitions of expensive new signings like Anthony Gordon for e.g. and help the club reach it’s goal of winning major honours and playing in the Champions League.
The left wing seems to be Anderson’s best position and with the likes of Jacob Murphy and the hit and miss maverick Allan Saint-Maximin being moved out of the club soon, Newcastle United’s number 32 may help his club concentrate on spending their new found fortune on other areas as he makes this position his own.