One of the many pleasant aspects of this campaign so far has been the steady involvement of Elliot Anderson. The local lad, who turned 20 earlier this month, has made 9 appearances including his full home debut in the Carabao Cup win over Crystal Palace.
Anderson impressed during the preseason to earn a place in the squad. He’s proven to be a handy option for Eddie Howe as his versatility has come into play. Anderson has played on the left, in the midfield, and even on the right against the Eagles.
In a recent interview posted on nufc.co.uk, Anderson said the following about his preseason and how it helped grow his confidence at his hometown club:
“It was a huge pre-season for me. I knew that when I was going back into it. From the first day, I just thought: ‘I haven’t got much time to try and stay around here, so I’ll do everything I can.’ That’s the mindset I have. I knew I wasn’t going out easy – I had to take it.
“The experiences I had with Bristol developed me both as a person as well as a player. I moved away from home and I came back into pre-season with a lot of confidence coming off the back of a good season.
“Knowing you’ve done well and thinking you almost deserve to be around the team is a better feeling than not really knowing if you’re going to be involved. It lets you crack on with the football and I think that season made me realize that I should be around it (the first team) and I could push on from here.”
For now, Howe has mainly used Anderson as an impact substitute. His two starts both came in the Carabao Cup. The youngster is determined to become a regular in Howe’s starting eleven and that desire motivates him each day.
This is what Elliot said about continuing to improve to reach his ultimate goal:
“I’ve been coming in off the bench but that’s not where I want to be. I want to be in the starting eleven. I’m still working every week to try and get more minutes and hopefully push my way through to achieve that.
“Coming in every day to train and living in Newcastle is great but I want to be playing more. I’m just missing that one feeling of being involved in the team every week and have that feeling of being a big player.
“I think it will come eventually. I’m still only 20 years old, and hopefully I will get there.”
In Anderson, Newcastle have a player who should play a massive role at the club for the next decade. He needs to look no further than Sean Longstaff as inspiration. The 25-year-old has become a consistent starter under Howe.
Anderson has the ability and drive to reach the same heights. His talent and versatility will hopefully help him eventually become an everyday starter at Newcastle United.