Bristol Rovers on-loan Newcastle United star receives international call-up - could miss key match

A double-edged sword for Bristol Rovers as their young player receives a call-up but he could miss a Gas match.

Bristol Rovers on-loan midfielder Elliot Anderson has been named in Scotland’s Under-21 squad for their double header of fixtures later this month.

Scott Gemmill's side face Turkey at Tynecastle Park in Edinburgh on Friday, March 25 before making the 6994 round-mile trip from Edinburgh to Almaty to face Kazakhstan on Tuesday, March 29.

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As a result, Anderson is almost certain to miss the Gas’ game against Carlisle United, whilst he will miss a few days of training ahead of their weekend match against Mark Hughes’ Bradford City on Saturday, April 2.

Anderson has impressed in League Two since joining on loan from Newcastle United on the last day of the January transfer window. Barton has made him a regular feature in the team, he has played 10 times for Rovers and has got one goal and two assists.

The young midfielder has played for Scotland U16s, 17s, 18s before and also turned out for England’s Under-19’s in a friendly against Arsenal’s Under-23’s last March.

So far, the Scots have stole a march on him by giving him opportunities in their age grade teams, though he won’t be tied down a country unless he makes a senior appearance for them.

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Anderson was an unused substitute for them back in November in Scotland's games against Belgium and Kazakhstan. Now he is playing he could stand a better chance of breaking into the team though he does have tough competition for a starting berth.

Scotland are third in a five-team group right now with Belgium the runaway leaders with 18 points, whilst Scotland are five points behind second-placed Denmark.

As well as Anderson, right-back Luca Hoole is also being tracked by the Welsh setup with their boss Paul Bodin present at the goalless draw between Rovers and Mansfield Town last month.

Back in February, manager Joey Barton was keen for his players to avoid any international recognition given the importance of the end of season run-in.

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When asked about Hoole’s national team prospects, he said: “I don’t want any international players in my group because they go away then when we’ve got games.

“For us we want our best players available for us at all times and Luca certainly in recent weeks has come to the fore and shown what a good player he is and he belies his age in many regards due to his maturity, confidence and communication.”

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