Newcastle United journalist Liam Kennedy has given his thoughts on the future of young midfielder Elliot Anderson following his recent display for the club’s U23 side.
The 19-year-old has cut an impressive figure during his time in the academy setup at St. James’ Park, scoring 23 goals and chipping in with eight assists across a variety of competitions and age groups.
His most recent outing for the U23 side saw him bag a hat-trick against their Nottingham Forest counterparts, and his form has led to some Newcastle United fans urging the club to get him some minutes with the senior side.
But speaking about the youngster on the latest edition of NUFC Matters, Kennedy claimed that it was too soon for him to warrant a place in the first team just yet, and that the focus should be on him keeping fit until January and then loaning him out somewhere.
He said: “I don’t think he’s earned a start; I think he’s a player that could have done with a loan move. We don’t want to see him stagnate, but injuries have held him back. He’s just gone through that period a lot of young players have in their late teens where they’ll pick up injuries and it’s just a developmental thing.
“And I think he doesn’t deserve a starting place, but I think he deserves to be in a conversation; from what I’m hearing, I think he’s impressed.
“I think a good move for Elliot Anderson is to make sure he stays fit between now and January, and getting himself away for a loan move would be a really positive step rather than being thrown into the Newcastle United first team.”
TIF Thoughts on Liam Kennedy’s comments about Elliot Anderson…
Would you like to see Elliot Anderson play regularly in Newcastle's first team?
We think Kennedy is right with his assessment here when it comes to Anderson, because whilst his form has been impressive against the younger players, it’s a totally different task to perform that well against Premier League players, and you have to be absolutely sure that he’ll be able to cope with it before throwing him in.
On top of that, Newcastle United already have a number of players on their books right now that can play attacking midfield, and with January around the corner and the club having plenty of money to spend, if they were to bring in another – with some reports linking them with a move for Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard – it would perhaps make more sense to bring in someone with a track record of playing at this level rather than placing their survival hopes on a 19-year-old.
So it would be best for them to try and get Anderson some first-team football elsewhere at a place he can flourish rather than throw him into a relegation battle as his first real taste of senior football.