‘It isn’t impossible’ - Joey Barton eyes Newcastle star in dream Bristol Rovers transfer

Bristol Rovers are prepared to wait ahead of a possible reunion with their former loan star
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Joey Barton believes Elliott Anderson could still yet return to Bristol Rovers, but believes he is close to making a breakthrough at Newcastle United. Anderson returned to Tyneside in the summer after a successful loan spell.

The Magpies loanee joined Bristol Rovers on deadline day of the January window last season, and played a crucial role in the Gas’ promotion. It was Anderson’s back post header that ultimately sent Barton’s side into the automatic promotion places, with their 7-0 win on the final day of the season enough to move above Northampton and into third on goals scored.

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The 20-year-old jumped straight into Eddie Howe’s first team plans, bypassing three divisions and has been a constant on the Magpie’s bench so far this season. He has appeared eight times off the bench however is now being linked with a loan move once more, with the transfer window opening this week.

Luton Town manager Rob Edwards has ruled out a move for the midfielder, but Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End are said to hold an interest.

Despite many Championship clubs being interested in the Scotland Under-21 international, Joey Barton’s promise of first team football, and the success of Anderson’s last loan spell in blue and white could prove fruitful.

He said: “I think we could make a great case and say look at what a player we gave you back after the loan, the Gasheads love him and it’s the next step up for him.

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“I think there’s lots of ticks that we could maybe make a case for but ultimately that’ll come down to Elliot, Eddie Howe and the powers that be at Newcastle.

“We’re in constant dialogue with a lot of people in the North East but for us at the moment, he’s on the bench for Newcastle, he looks like he’s very close to their first team, looks like he’s one injury away from getting a little bit of a run.

“They’re in a couple of cup competitions, so you would expect him to get some minutes and I want to see Ell in the black and white stripes, and you know show what he did at the Mem last year at St James’ Park and in the Premier League.”

Anderson was nothing short of exceptional in his loan spell in Bristol, scoring seven and assisting six in 21 games as his loan side went on to lose just four times in the second half of the season. Despite only being at the club for just five month, he etched his name into the clubs folklore, and is a popular name amongst supporters.

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He said: “You want to see the lad do as well as he can, in the midst of that you know if we can get him back on loan then we’d be silly not to try and do that.

“Who knows, it would be a miracle, it would be unbelievable but it isn’t impossible.”

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