How things stand for Bristol Rovers as time frame given on Newcastle’s Elliot Anderson decision

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Bristol Rovers have not been ruled out of the race to re-sign Elliot Anderson but face stiff competition from the Championship

Bristol Rovers could find out in the next fortnight whether they will be able to take Elliot Anderson back on loan from Newcastle United.

Following the conclusion of a dramatic 2021/22 season, plans have been afoot to add players to the squad for the challenge of League One.

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Already they have signed former Liverpool academy midfielder Jordan Rossiter for an undisclosed fee from Fleetwood Town, as well as left-back James Gibbons from Port Vale, James Connolly from Cardiff City and recently aquired John Marquis on a free transfer.

But there is still more business to be done with the potential for five more players to arrive through the door and an attacking midfielder is a position that has been targeted.

After signing talisman Anthony Evans to a new deal, the club want another option in that area and recently missed out on signing Callum Camps who joined Stockport County, though the club had eyes on a different target.

And whilst most signings have been looking forward, one player that Rovers could entertain re-signing is Anderson, who was a major success in his five month spell at the Memorial Stadium last season.

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His seven goals and six assists in the 21 games he played last year, helped them earn promotion from League Two after pushing his way into the first-team

The 19-year-old scored the seventh goal against Scunthorpe United in a dramatic final day win to write his name as one of the most successful loanee’s in the club’s history.

Anderson following his success at the Mem remains a target though his time spent at the club has attracted the attention of others which is to be expected given his dazzling performances.

Elliot Anderson returned to Newcastle United this week after getting Bristol Rovers promoted. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)Elliot Anderson returned to Newcastle United this week after getting Bristol Rovers promoted. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Elliot Anderson returned to Newcastle United this week after getting Bristol Rovers promoted. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) | Getty Images

In the latest update on where both his short-term and long-term may lie has been revealed by The Athletic with a potential new contract in the offing at Newcastle.

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A report says that the Magpies are currently sifting through a number of loan offers with Luton Town, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion from the Championship interested.

Bids from Rovers and their league rivals Sheffield Wednesday has also been sent over and now they are left with a decision of what will be best for one of their highly rated players.

Despite the option to play in the Championship perhaps being closer to the level of the Premier League, a move to the second tier isn’t necessarily the favoured option.

Newcastle will consider the style of play, how much game time he gets and the playing philosophy of the manager and given the success Joey Barton has had with developing young players, that could be a major boost.

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The aims for the season will also be taken into consideration, as playing for a team chasing for promotion in League One, would see him get more time on the ball and create more opportunities, which would benefit his development. Whilst Rovers are newly promoted, both Barton and owner Wael al-Qadi have stated their intentions to be competitive.

Barton recently signed a deal that would keep him at the club until the summer of 2026 and stated his intentions to lead the club to the Championship and the re-signing of Anderson would play a major part in beginning that process a lot sooner.

As it stands at the moment, Anderson this week reported back to base for pre-season training with Newcastle. He returned back later than other players as he had been on international duty with Scotland’s Under-21’s and put in a few good displays as a secondary forward.

Further on in the report from The Athletic, it is said that Anderson himself is currently focusing on impressing their manager Eddie Howe, rather than the possible loan destinations.

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Newcastle have a few upcoming friendlies and a training camp in Austria in the next fortnight or so and a decision could be made then as it will be the half-way point of pre-season with their season beginning on Saturday, August 6.

Rovers’ season begins a week earlier on Saturday, July 30, but would be understanding of any time frame if it opened up the opportunity for him to return to where he was much adored.

Joey Barton and the passionate Gas fan base have stated their intentions on wanting to bring him back to the club, but is respectful to the fact he is a player of another club.

Asked back in May by BBC Radio Bristol, whether he would like his five loan players to return, he said: “I would love all of them back, they were superb, every single one of them, even young Spenno (Sion Spence).

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“We would want to take them all, but they are somebody else’s players and they kindly loan them to you. I am incredibly grateful to Stoke, Newcastle, Barnsley and Cardiff for loaning us their young players and trusting us with their development. If they came available, you would love to have a conversation with them.”

Rovers have of course already persuaded one of their players to return with James Connolly joining for a six figure fee from Cardiff City earlier this summer.

Sion Spence, who had a bit part role last year has become a free agent and is now looking for a more permanent home after leaving Crystal Palace.

Mecurial winger Luke Thomas has begun pre-season with Barnsley and has started in games under their new boss Michael Duff, which could mean looking elsewhere for a player to replace the gap left by Sam Nicholson after his departure to Colorado Rapids.

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Connolly’s centre-back Connor Taylor has linked up with parent club Stoke City and is currently on tour over in Ireland as he hopes to get a chance in the first-team. Stoke’s boss Michael O’Neill did concede another loan move may be the best option for his development before pre-season began however.

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