Newcastle United unearth £40m ‘next Gazza’ gem who can provide FFP/PSR solution

Elliot Anderson has saved Newcastle United a fortune in the transfer market - he must now add goals and assists to his game to become a Toon regular
Elliot Anderson can follow in the footsteps of Paul Gascoigne (pictured) at Newcastle UnitedElliot Anderson can follow in the footsteps of Paul Gascoigne (pictured) at Newcastle United
Elliot Anderson can follow in the footsteps of Paul Gascoigne (pictured) at Newcastle United

Quality, versatility and, most importantly, a ceiling higher than the Tyne Bridge. Elliot Anderson should no longer be considered a prospect - he is a player Newcastle United can call upon when needed.

Benton has underdelivered in recent years, with Andy Carroll the last talent to represent England. Paul Dummett and Sean Longstaff are notable names but the Magpies can hardly claim to have nurtured a conveyor belt of world-beaters from their academy ranks.

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But in Anderson and Lewis Miley, Newcastle have two Geordie prospects who can dazzle in black and white long into the post-takeover era. It has been a frustrating campaign for Anderson, having missed five months of 2023-24 with a fractured back.

Given the severity of Newcastle’s injury crisis, he was, for the bulk of his absence, an afterthought. Few were anxiously awaiting his return, with the likes of Joe Willock, Joelinton and the suspended Sandro Tonali showered with most of the fan sentiment.

But what the Whitley Bay native has done in the last two games is lay the foundations for a successful career at St James’ Park. The irony against Fulham is that Willock’s injury was met with unanimous groans as Eddie Howe pondered over who to turn to.

At the time, Newcastle were struggling, labouring towards a dismal showing at Craven Cottage. Anderson stepped up - starting the move which ultimately led to Bruno Guimaraes’ late winner.

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Fast forward a week and the 21-year-old, this time at left-wing back, turned in arguably his finest hour at Newcastle to date. Haunted by the spectre of injuries, supporters grumbled as the team sheet was announced, with further setbacks unnerving the starting line-up.

Less than an hour later, Howe was vindicated - as the Magpies ran riot against Tottenham Hotspur in an innovative 3-4-3 system. Anderson produced three shot-creating actions, five take-ons and 16 carries from an unfamiliar position, linking up well with Harvey Barnes down the left flank.

"I think Elliot brings his unique version of ball-winning duels but I wouldn't say he's sort of a natural like Joe (Joelinton) is,” Howe said post-match, hailing the academy gem. “I think that's more just through his endeavour and his passion.

"But what he can bring is a totally different thing technically. And his delivery around the box, I think we'll see that steadily improve through time. I think he will be a goalscorer or a goal-creator.

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"We've seen that through training now for a long period. I can't speak highly enough of how he's come back from his injury. I think he's in a really good place."

In an FFP/PSR-dominated world, Newcastle must be frugal despite boasting owners worth an estimated $700billion. Meticulous planning is already going into the summer transfer window - and Anderson has saved them a fortune.

Coupled with Tonali and Joelinton returning, the recruitment setup can cross out a central midfielder from their shopping list, shifting priorities elsewhere - namely on the right flank and at centre-back.

The challenge for Anderson is to add goals and assists to his game. Do that, combined with his Paul Gascoigne-esque technical ability, and he can enjoy a fruitful Newcastle career for many years to come.

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