Newcastle United make final decision on Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and Stoke target

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From helping Bristol Rovers win promotion to League One to Premier League player? It’s been a whirlwind few months for Elliot Anderson

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe is set to disappoint Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and a host of clubs in their pursuit of Elliot Anderson.

The 19-year-old had a successful loan spell with the Gas last season, playing a huge part in their promotion to League One.

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He made 21 appearances after his Deadline Day move and went on to score seven goals as well as six assists.

There was a slight hope that he would return to the Memorial Stadium and build on his first spell away from St James Park, but now he looks to be staying put on Tyneside.

Howe, who arrived in November last year was unable to give Anderson a role when the club were fighting relegation but now he could save the club millions after impressing over the course of pre-season.

"He’s come into the group almost as a new signing,” he said to BBC Radio Newcastle’s Matthew Raisbeck.

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“I’ve seen a big elevation in his overall performance. Physically, he’s been very good in the pre-season. Tactically, he’s fitted into our systems of play & can play different positions. We really like him."

“As we stand now, he would not be going anywhere and would be an integral part of our squad this season."

His performances caught the attention of many other clubs, including inter-city rivals Bristol City according to numerous reports.

Up to 12 clubs had reported interest in him, such as Huddersfield Town, Sheffield Wednesday, West Bromwich Albion and Lee Johnson’s Hibernian and their Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

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Any move was put on hold however as Howe wanted to take a first look at what one of their highly-rated youngsters could do.

The Whitley Bay born teenager had a prominent role in pre-season and played in matches against the likes of Portuguese giants Benfica, as well as Serie A outfit Atalanta.

Now on the eve of the Premier League season, Anderson is set for a role in the team and will be one of the beneficiaries of the new five-man substitute rule.

Rovers boss Joey Barton, who signed him on a recommendation from former Toon teammates Shola Ameobi and Steve Harper, had already consigned himself to him not rejoining earlier this summer.

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In his Forest Green pre-match press conference last week, Barton slapped a £10-15m valuation on his former loanee.

He said: “How are we going to replace Elliot Anderson? Unless you give me  £10-15million, it’s going to be tricky to take a winger like him and the fact he started for Newcastle against Benfica the other night shows he’s jumped a number of divisions.”

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