There are many that come through the youth sides/academy and look like they might be prospects. Not many go on to be first-team stars. Of the current squad we have Sean Longstaff and Paul Dummett who have made it.
Dummett had an excellent loan spell at St. Mirren back in the day which certainly helped him. Sean did similar at Blackpool and continues to be a valued member of the first-team squad. His brother Matty did make the breakthrough but unfortunately is now struggling to confirm his potential and is currently out on loan at Aberdeen.
We have one or two others out on loan as we feel that they need football against senior players. Is that now the route we have to take for perhaps the brightest academy star of all? One Elliot Anderson to be exact.
Elliot has scored seven times in his last eight Under-23 games and at the tender age of nineteen is the current skipper of the side. At Nottingham Forest on Monday night he put in a dazzling display on his return from injury. A hat-trick in a 3 – 1 win was a fantastic way to show he’s on the way back.
Remember this is a precocious talent that has already been rewarded with game time in the first team and is a regular in the first-team training sessions. His talent has been noted by everyone that comes across him and he is a big hope for the future.
Before his hip injury last season there were many that were calling for him to be given a run in the side using the expression ‘if he’s good enough he’s old enough.’ It didn’t happen partly because of the injury and partly because the manager at the time wasn’t brave enough.
It was figured that it would do him more harm than good to throw him into a relegation battle. It’ll be interested to see if Eddie Howe and his coaches feel the same. If they do then I’m 100% convinced we must secure him a good loan to the Championship in January.
Elliot’s quotes from Monday night; “I haven’t played in three or four weeks and to score a hat-trick to get my goal tally up is quite important to me. In the short-term, I’m trying to impress the manager as much as I can,” mark him out as someone that knows what he has to do.
What the Club has to do now is sit down and talk with him and decide what is best for his future. To me that’s to go out on loan to a Club where he’s guaranteed to get regular and significant minutes. Remember, even Harry Kane went out on loan before breaking through!