Key figure sets challenge for Newcastle United academy after Elliot Anderson lands new long-term deal

The academy product has been rewarded for his progression over the last 12 months.

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth has praised the Magpies academy after highly-rated midfielder Elliot Anderson penned a new long-term contract.

The Scotland Under-21 international has rapidly progressed through United’s youth ranks and earned a place among Eddie Howe’s senior players after impressing the former Bournemouth manager.

Anderson was viewed as the brightest prospect in the Magpies academy and his first senior appearances under former manager Steve Bruce in Premier League and FA Cup meetings.

Howe opted to hand the youngster a chance to impress in League Two when a loan deal to take Anderson to Bristol Rovers was agreed in the final hours of the January transfer window.

The 19-year-old returned to Tyneside at the end of last season after scoring eight goals in 21 appearances for Joey Barton’s side as they clinched promotion into League One.

A second loan spell was expected to be agreed but Anderson shone during pre-season training and in United’s friendly fixtures to force his way into Howe’s thinking for the new campaign.

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The Whitley Bay-born midfielder has made three substitute appearances in the Premier League this season and was handed a first senior start for his boyhood club went he played in the Carabao Cup win at Tranmere Rovers.

Much is expected of Anderson over the coming years and Ashworth believes the youngster can become a success at St James Park ‘for a long time to come’.

He told the club website: “Our strategy is not just about who we can buy, it is also about who we have and how we nurture and develop our best young talent.

“It’s crucial for the club and our Academy to provide a pathway for our young players and a belief that if they are good enough, they will get an opportunity to play.

“Steve Harper with the Academy and Eddie Howe and his staff have been brilliant with Elliot. They have given him an opportunity and some great coaching and development to enable him to get to this level.

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“Elliot has shown he has the attributes to have a successful career at this level and we hope he will be here for a long time to come.”

Anderson is currently on Scotland Under-21 duty and will hope to add to his solitary cap when his side face a friendly double-header with Northern Ireland over the next week.