Elliot Anderson netted a hat-trick for Newcastle United Under-23’s against Nottingham Forest last night - making it seven goals in all competitions for him this season.
Seemingly well on the way to a full-recovery from a hip injury that sidelined him at the end of last season, Anderson will be keeping one eye on Howe’s upcoming first-team squad selections.
The 19-year-old has featured in two matchday squads for Newcastle’s senior side this season, but he failed to make an appearance at Vicarage Road, suffering the same fate a week later at Molineux.
In all, Anderson has made just two first-team appearances for Newcastle and they both came in January against Newcastle’s next opponents, Arsenal.
It has been a long nine months since those games at The Emirates, however, the flame inside Anderson to be back amongst the first-team has not been extinguished:
"I'm buzzing" Anderson told nufc.co.uk following the victory over Forest on Monday night.
"I haven't played in three or four weeks and to score a hat-trick to get my goal tally up is quite important to me.
"In the short-term, I'm trying to impress the manager as much as I can, show what I've got and see if he notices.
"I thought we started the game really well and the intensity was high. They got a man sent off within the first ten minutes but we played like we have been in training. I think to come down here and pass them off the park has been a successful day for us."
Anderson continued: "It's important to keep your standards high and as a captain myself, I was trying to tell the lads to maintain the high standards on the pitch and Elliott (Dickman) told us that at half-time.
"We're back to winning ways which builds the lads' confidence and shows that we can come away to places and turn teams over. We need to start building on from this and try to get more wins in the next two weeks or so."
Anderson’s performances haven’t just been impressing people at the club this season however, as he has also received international recognition following a call-up to Scotland’s Under-21 squad during the most recent international break.
With all this recent attention on his performances, could we finally be seeing a blossoming of Anderson’s career?
When asked in May about the prospects of the teenager getting more first-team action, former Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce said: “There’s a chance.
"We understand that he’s making big strides. He’s only 18, the boy, but he’s in and around us.
“I’ll look at it, and what we’ve got. We’ve got our big players fit at the top of the pitch, of course, in Allan, Callum and Joelinton. He’s got fierce competition.”
Subsequent injury problems have delayed his return to the first-team, however, with another trip to The Emirates on the horizon, could Anderson force himself back into the picture at Newcastle? He’s certainly making a strong case for his inclusion once again.