There’s nothing quite like watching an academy prospect break into the first-team.
Largely, that is something Newcastle United have struggled with. In recent memory, the Longstaff brothers are the only examples of that, with Matty since falling into obscurity as Sean gets back to the kind of form he showed upon his initial breakthrough under Rafa Benitez.
Before that, Paul Dummett and Andy Carroll are the only first-team regulars who spring to mind and the latter had only played a few Premier League games before moving to Liverpool, albeit returning in 2019.
So then, it’s promising to see Elliot Anderson impressing.
Kieran Trippier wowed by Elliot Anderson
While the 20-year-old has found regular action hard to come by, Eddie Howe has at least included the academy graduate in 22 Premier League squads this season. Indeed, the 20-year-old has made a very respectable 17 appearances across all competitions for one of the best teams in England, which is certainly some going.
Against Nottingham Forest, Anderson turned in perhaps his most impressive display yet. Brought on at half-time, the Scotland U21 international saw a goal controversially ruled out by VAR and even that did not tell the whole story.
According to WhoScored data, Anderson mustered two shots, a key pass and two dribbles, ranking sixth, fifth and third in Howe’s team respectively. With the team needing attacking impetus after the break, it’d be fair to say Anderson provided that.
So much so, that teammate Kieran Trippier was impressed. The England international told The Chronicle: “He’s a young lad with so much potential, I really mean that. It’s crazy really how good he is. He just needs to be patient and keep working hard as he’s been doing.
“I thought he was unbelievable in the second half when he came on. He’s got a massive future ahead of him, he just has to keep being patient.”
Anderson could be a secret weapon in the run-in
While pinning too many hopes on Anderson would be slightly unfair given this early stage of his career, perhaps he can offer something different during the run-in.
Clearly, there will be harder tests to come than Forest, but that kind of drive off the bench could certainly be a useful tool on a more regular basis.