Newcastle United midfielder misses Saudi Arabia trip amid EFL loan interest – Luton Town linked

Newcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson has not travelled with the first team to Saudi Arabia this week.

The 19-year-old is understood to be attracting interest from a number of Football League clubs with the view to a potential loan move before the January transfer window closes next Monday.

Anderson played the full 90-minutes for United’s Under-23s side on Monday evening as they were beaten 1-0 by Nottingham Forest at Whitley Park.

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Championship outfit Luton Town are interested in acquiring the youngster on loan until the end of the season but a deal is yet to materialise.

Elliot Anderson of Newcastle United runs with the ball during the Papa John's EFL Trophy Group match between Harrogate Town and Newcastle United U21's at The EnviroVent Stadium on October 05, 2021 in Harrogate, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

The midfielder has scored seven goals in eight matches for the Under-23s so far this season. He has also been involved with the first team squad in training and on matchdays but is yet to make an appearance for the senior side so far this season.

And academy coach Kevin Richardson has hinted that head coach Eddie Howe could have ‘some plans up his sleeve’ regarding Anderson's development.

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“If [a loan spell] is what it takes [for Anderson to step up], the new management team, they know that,” Richardson said. "Whether there has been enquiries or not, I don't know. It's about what's best for Elliot and [Eddie Howe] might have some plans up his sleeve for him.

"He's a local kid and we wish him all the best with whatever he does.”

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Elliot Anderson of Newcastle United U21's reacts during the EFL Trophy match between Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United U21 at University of Bolton Stadium on November 17, 2020 in Bolton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

Anderson is highly rated by those at Newcastle and his omission from the visit to Saudi Arabia is particularly telling given that other Under-23s players made the trip.

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While Newcastle are working hard to try and bring players in this month, they also have to consider those who could leave the club.

Newcastle have already been stung by Matty Longstaff’s unsuccessful loan to Aberdeen this season so will need to exercise caution regarding Anderson.

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“Elliot is a level-headed kid and a good player who can be creative and intelligent with the way he plays the game,” Richardson told The Gazette.

"He finds space and time and we need to use him a bit more effectively in games. If he's not on the ball he'll be doing something off the ball to help the team and the players around him. He's got a good footballing brain in and out of possession.”

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