Newcastle United’s Elliot Anderson Bristol Rovers loan report - midfielder scores first goal in unreal week

Newcastle United’s Elliot Anderson has excelled for Bristol Rovers in his first five games in the blue and white quarters

<p>Bristol Rovers have a player on their hands in Newcastle United’s Elliot Anderson. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)</p>

Bristol Rovers have a player on their hands in Newcastle United’s Elliot Anderson. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

Elliot Anderson has had the week of dreams after getting his first goal and first assist in Bristol Rovers colours following his loan move from Newcastle United.

Anderson, who was brought to the Memorial Stadium on the recommendation of Shola Ameobi, who passed him on to his former Magpies teammate Barton, who was looking for a midfield option.

The 19-year-old has so far played in every game that Rovers have played since his arrival, which shows how keen the club were to make the signing.

Away from St James Park for the first loan spell of his career, Anderson is so far adapting to life at the blood and guts feel of League Two.

Here’s how the Whitley-Bay born attacker has fared in the five games that he played in so far.

Elliot Anderson v Stevenage (19th February)

The tricky midfielder who is quickly emerging as a fan favourite scored in the 4-0 win over Stevenage on Saturday afternoon in the 50th minute.

Finding space inside of the box, Anderson found himself in a position to powerfully strike home his first strike in the blue and white quarters from a narrow angle.

Four minutes later, he got an assist as he set up namesake Harry Anderson for a second time in a week. The midfielder found Harry with an inch-perfect cross and his teammate was there to score on a half-volley.

The only gloss for him was that he was given a yellow card towards the end of the match.

His goal and assist gave him a thoroughly deserved man-of-the-match award, ranking 9.0 on FutMob with only Sam Finley coming close. He was neat in his play once more with an 83% pass rate, as well as making four key passes to his teammates. He was completely successful in winning his tackles and dribbles, as well as winning most of his ground duels.

Elliot Anderson v Sutton United (15th February)

This was the game that Bristol Rovers got the best glimpse of what Elliot Anderson could do.

Just two minutes into the game, he laid the ball to Harry on the edge of the box to score the opening goal. Elliot himself had a number of good goal scoring opportunities and at times he was selfish but it was a player who was showing true confidence.

Opportunities died down for him in the second period but he still almost found the back of the net.

Ranked just behind Aaron Collins who scored a goal and won a penalty, Anderson was ranked the second best player with a 8.5 rating in the eyes of FutMob.

He was so neat and intricate in his passing that 90% of his 45 passes were accurate and he also threaded through four key passes to his teammates. As well as being in possession, Anderson put in a solid defensive shift by winning 75% of his tackles.

Elliot Anderson has so far dealt with the physicality of League Two. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

Elliot Anderson v Mansfield Town (12th February)

It was the battle of the Newcastle United loanees when Anderson, on his first home start, lined up against Mansfield’s Matty Longstaff who is a bit further than Anderson in his Magpies career. Anderson put in a good performance in what was a game lacking in quality as such given the weather affected the first half. He was ranked along with James Belshaw and Luca Hoole as Rovers’ best players on the pitch but just couldn’t impact the game enough.

Elliot Anderson v Oldham Athletic (8th February)

Anderson was given his first start in Rovers colours, starting alongside Sam Finley as two central attacking midfielders with Paul Coutts in the holding role and Antony Evans in the number ten. A goal for Oldham in the opening minute meant it was an uphill battle for Rovers to get anything out of the match and Anderson suffered from that. Evans was withdrawn early and then Joey Barton had to reformat his side with the players unable to get any rhythm as such.

Despite being on the losing side, he still earned a respectable 7.2 match rating and won half of his tackles, half of his duels, as well as playing 76% accurate passes.

Elliot Anderson v Sutton United (5th February)

Introduced with half an hour of the match remaining, Anderson slotted into the midfield alongside Glenn Whelan. His introduction made the desired impact, as his ball to Harry Anderson eventually saw Harry fouled by Dean Bouzanis for a penalty that Evans converted.

A clip of his debut performance emerged from social media and fans of both Rovers and Newcastle were impressed with what they saw. He looked neat in possession in the clip as he almost got a goal from a neat one-two.

The verdict

So far, the teenager has played in the ten role, supporting the striker in the absence of Antony Evans.

Evans is nearing a return to first-team action but the form of Anderson may give Barton a rethink when the Scouse midfielder is fully available for team selection. On one hand Evans is influential in that role but moving Anderson away from where he’s enjoying his best form could disrupt the rhythm he’s in.

It’s early days into his Rovers career but Joey Barton has seemingly got a winning formula when it comes to bringing in young players from clubs in both the Premier League and the Championship.

There was interest from Luton Town and higher division clubs and you can perhaps see why they were given the quality he’s shown in his first few games.