Eddie Howe reveals what ‘slightly disappointed’ Newcastle United about Elliot Anderson’s loan exit

Newcastle United were disappointed not to loan Elliot Anderson out to a club higher up the EFL pyramid in January.

Newcastle United were disappointed not to loan Elliot Anderson out to a club higher up the EFL pyramid in January.

Nevertheless, head coach Eddie Howe is pleased with the strong progress the 19-year-old is making at League Two side Bristol Rovers.

Anderson joined the fourth-tier outfit for the remainder of the campaign despite being heavily tracked by Luton Town for the last 12 months.

Howe believes Anderson is ready for Championship football, which is why his excellent form at Joey Barton’s Rovers has taken no one by surprise.

The Whitley Bay-born attacking midfielder, who has scored one goal and provided two assists, has already become a firm favourite at the Memorial Stadium, earning the nickname ‘Billy’.

It links to the popular North East film Billy Elliot in reference to Anderson’s talented ability.

‘Elliot is ready for Championship football’

Speaking ahead of a 2-0 win at Brentford, Howe said: “We’re really pleased with Elliot. I think he needed to go out and play, and get that feeling of regular football.

“We were slightly disappointed that it was in League Two, because I feel Elliot’s ready, in my opinion, for the Championship. I think he’s a very talented lad, and it’s no surprise that he’s gone to Bristol Rovers and done so well.

“I’m very thankful for their care and the opportunity they’ve given him, because, regardless of level, I think you need to feel that confidence that will be going through him at the moment.

“I think he’s made a big impact there. I know Kevin Bond well, and I’m really pleased he’s had such a positive impact on their season.”

What has Joey Barton said about Anderson?

Former Magpies midfielder Barton has lauded Anderson’s impact in his seven matches thus far.

“He’s a hell of a player,” Barton said last month. “(I’m) delighted to have him at the football club. Obviously, my allegiance, my black-and-white fairytale continues.

“I’d love to help them develop one of their younger players, and I’m thankful that they trust us with a boy as talented as Elliot.

“That showcased what we saw in the Sutton away game. He came on in that game, showed real brightness, a real inventive mind, wants to go past people, takes the ball in tight areas.

Elliot Anderson will make a lot of the fans sit up and take notice.”