For a long time, Elliot Anderson has been considered an up and comer at Newcastle United. However, that has now changed in the eyes of Eddie Howe.

The 20-year-old is expected to have a break out season in a black and white shirt, and was Newcastle‘s star performer during pre-season.

Anderson was exceptional over the summer, getting goals and assists against top quality opposition as Newcastle prepared for the 2023/24 campaign.

They started the season with a bang on Saturday, smashing Aston Villa 5-1 to go top of the Premier League. However, Anderson did not play much of a role.

He only played about five minutes, coming off the bench late on when the damage was already done. His pre-season form was not enough to earn him a start on the opening day, but his chances will come this season.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Eddie Howe admits Elliot Anderson is now a Newcastle ‘first-team player’

Howe has spoke to the Chronicle about Anderson, and explained how his squad status has now changed at St James’ Park.

“I think he has been excellent, he’s scored goals and created goals,” he said.

“He’s stayed fit which has been hugely important. Last season he picked up a few little niggles which just delayed his progress. He will be a hugely important player for us this season.

“I think what he’s done is put himself where we view him as a first-team player and on a par with everybody else fighting for places, when I first arrived he was viewed as a young up and coming prospect. That is a big jump. And that is down to him.”

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Howe has huge confidence in Anderson

While his role was limited on Saturday, Howe still anticipates Anderson to be an important player this season. The Newcastle manager clearly has big plans for the midfielder, which is why he is now a fully fledged member of the first-team.

He is not a youngster looking to break through. He has done that. Now what he needs is senior minutes, and Howe has vowed that he will get that this season.

It is going to be really exciting to see how Anderson is used this season, especially with all of the midfield competition at St James’ Park. Sandro Tonali, Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton functioned brilliantly against Aston Villa, while Sean Longstaff was in reserve. Elsewhere, Joe Willock is still injured.

It is a testament to Anderson’s quality that Howe believes he can feature amongst that elite crop of midfielders after making the ‘big jump’ from youth prospect to first-teamer.

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