Aaron Stokes has urged Eddie Howe to start Elliot Anderson for Newcastle United on Saturday.
Given that Anderson is still yet to make his full debut for Newcastle in the Premier League, it would be a bold call from Eddie Howe to thrust the youngster into the starting lineup this weekend, in what will likely be viewed as a must-win game.
Newcastle have struggled a little of late, with no win in the league since the opening day of the season, so they will be targeting the game against the league’s leakiest defence as one that should bring about three points – although they will need their rather toothless attack to turn up and perform.
Speaking on the Everything is Black and White podcast, this is where Stokes believes Anderson could come in and impress in front of a packed-out St James’ Park.
He said: “I would absolutely love to see him from the outset on Saturday. I was really, really surprised that at 2-0 against Forest when the game was dead, Howe used five subs and didn’t bring him on.
“But you speak to Eddie Howe after these games and every press conference we’re in, he gets asked about Anderson. [He] can’t praise him high enough. Every week he says he’s getting closer to that start, but we know Eddie Howe, he’s not a risk-taker, he’s not a gambler. It’s a must-win game.
Do you want Anderson to start on Saturday?
“For me, I think if Maxi, Willock and Miggy [Almiron] are all fit, I don’t think Anderson starts, but I would like to see him start.”
TIF Thoughts on Elliot Anderson…
It would be a huge moment for the club and Anderson when he is handed his full debut, with the Magpies struggling to bring through talented young players over the years. Sean Longstaff was the last one to make a major breakthrough and before that, it was Paul Dummett to make an impact on the first team.
If Anderson was to start on Saturday, it certainly wouldn’t be out of sentiment as it’s a huge game for the Magpies, but based on his cameo appearance last time out at St James’ Park, he would certainly be up to the task.
Against Crystal Palace, Anderson certainly made an impact – as this short clip showcases – as he danced around Joel Ward and also put the experienced Premier League defender on the floor, such was his excellent footwork. We feel it would likely only yield even better rewards for Howe and Newcastle if he was given the chance to impress from the start.
It’s not just Stokes and Newcastle fans excited by Anderson, but former Bristol Rovers teammate Alex Rodman labelled the midfielder as ‘phenomenal‘ from his time on loan in League Two last season, so it wouldn’t surprise if he continues to make waves at the top level in Toon colours.