Graham Carr proved right about 'classy' Newcastle United player who can save club millions in transfer market

Elliot Anderson, generally, lets his feet do his talking.

Anderson, according to Eddie Howe, is “quiet” around the group. And the midfielder isn’t always a man of many words when he speaks to the media.

The 19-year-old’s more comfortable with a ball at his feet, and, since he reported back to Newcastle United for the start of pre-season training, his performances have spoken for themselves.

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Anderson returned back to the club in July buoyed by his promotion-winning half-season loan at Bristol Rovers.

Howe had wanted to send Anderson to a Championship club, but he had to settle for a mid-season League Two move.

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As it was, the loan couldn’t have gone any better.

Anderson, surprisingly overlooked for a start in Newcastle’s third-round FA Cup tie against Cambridge United in January, scored seven league goals for Joey Barton’s team.

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Newcastle United's Elliot Anderson has signed a new contract.

Rovers fans quickly dubbed Anderson, a technically-gifted player who possesses superb vision and an eye for a goal, the “Geordie Maradona”.

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The feeling among some was that Anderson would need another loan before being ready for Premier League football, though Graham Carr – who brought Ivan Toney to Newcastle during his time as chief scout – had seen enough from Anderson, a natural No.10, in one game to convince him otherwise.

“You can go out and sign as many young players as you want, you’ll be doing well to get any better than Elliot Anderson,” Carr told the Daily Mail. “It’s a waste of time sending him out again.

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Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

“He’s classy. He receives the ball like Peter Beardsley. He kills it and moves it all in one motion. That’s a gift. He’s the best young player I have seen in a long time. He plays with a swagger. He knows he’s good – but there’s no harm in that.”

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Anderson, promoted to the club’s first-team squad the season before last by then-head coach Steve Bruce, is very good – and he does know it.

Howe took him to Austria for the club’s pre-season training camp, and Anderson spoke to the media after a bright performance in a defeat to Mainz 05.

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The club’s travelling fans had chanted “he’s one of our own” at the tiny Kufstein Arena, which had a stunning alpine backdrop.

Elliot Anderson celebrates scoring a promotion-winning goal for Bristol Rovers last seaso.
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“I want to be here,” said the Scotland Under-21 international. “I want to force my way into the team, but that’s the club’s decision. I’ve just got to work as hard as I can on the pitch.”

Anderson’s hard work paid off – and he quickly impressed Howe.

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“I’m looking at daily progression,” said Howe. “He’s come in as a new signing – and has elevated his performance. He’s come back very fit, tactically fitted in to our systems – and we really like him.

"He’s quiet, but has a steely determination to do well for the team. As we stand now, he will not be going anywhere.”

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Anderson has gone on to justify Howe’s decision with three impressive Premier League cameos.

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And Newcastle fans can look forward with optimism to the next stage of his development now he’s established himself as a first-team player.