Transfer blow for Bristol Rovers as Newcastle United injury forces decision

Rovers were one of several clubs to show an interest in the highly-rated youngster.

Bristol Rovers have been dealt a major blow in their bid to secure former loan star Elliot Anderson for the new season.

The Newcastle United youngster became a firm favourite at the Memorial Stadium after joining on a half-season loan in January.

Anderson went on to score eight goals and provide five assists in 21 appearances for Joey Barton’s side and wrote his name into Rovers folklore with a late goal against Scunthorpe United that secured promotion into League One.

Barton forged a positive relationship with the Magpies prospect and discussed the possibility of securing another loan deal ahead of his side’s promotion into the third tier.

He said: “For El, I think if you get sent from a Premier League club to League Two, he’s been getting loads of rave reviews, so he’ll be aware of it but to get anywhere near Newcastle’s first team next season with the money they might have available to them, he needs them goals or assists.

“I think at the level above you might have a sniff (of signing him next season), that’s the horrible thing as a coach because we could have a really good team in League One or if we’re in League Two next year we could lose lots of our players.”

Rovers have repeatedly been named as one of the clubs interested in taking Anderson on a season-long loan - although they faced competition from Championship clubs West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Luton Town.

Anderson was handed a chance to impress Newcastle manager Eddie Howe in pre-season and performed well in friendly fixtures against the likes of Benfica and Atalanta.

The Scotland Under-21 international still looked set to depart on loan but an injury to fellow midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has reportedly led to a change in heart from the Magpies boss.

Shelvey suffered a hamstring injury in the friendly defeat in Benfica and the Mail have reported the former England midfielder underwent surgery in London over the weekend.

That has ruled Shelvey out until November and the first ever winter World Cup means his return to competitive action will not happen until after Christmas.

That means Anderson is highly likely to stay on Tyneside for the foreseeable future and all but ends Rovers chances of handing him a second chance to shine at the Memorial Stadium.