This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Brom have joined the race for exciting Newcastle United teenager Elliot Anderson, as per a report from TEAMtalk.
The report states that the Baggies are joined by Stoke City, Middlesbrough, Coventry City and Reading in pursuit of the 19-year-old, who is currently on loan at Bristol Rovers.
Nottingham Forest, Preston North End and QPR have also been credited with an interest in the Newcastle starlet, according to The Sunday Mirror, page 70, 03.04.22).
Luton Town went close to striking a loan agreement with Newcastle to bring Anderson to Kenilworth Road in January, however, the Hatters opted against the idea as there seemed to be no option to buy.
Three of our writers here at FLW have shared their thoughts regarding West Brom’ interest in the 19-year-old…
Only die-hard Luton Town supporters will get at least 20/25 on this higher or lower quiz
Although it is abundantly clear that West Brom need to strengthen their squad this summer following what has been a disappointing 2021/22 campaign, they ought to avoid making a move for Anderson.
Whereas the attacking midfielder has provided a respectable total of nine direct goal contributions in League Two during his stint at Bristol Rovers, he has never played in the Championship before during his career and thus the jury is out on whether he will be able to deliver the goods at this level.
Signing Anderson would be a risky move by the Baggies as there is a strong possibility that he is simply not ready to feature in the second-tier at this stage of his career.
Instead of taking a punt on the teenager, West Brom may find it more beneficial to sign some attacking players who have produced some impressive performances in the Championship in recent times.
There is a lot of attention surrounding the future of Anderson, with multiple clubs said to be interested in his services for next season.
That it is Championship clubs interested shows how well he has performed for Bristol Rovers in League Two this season.
West Brom has been a chaotic club this campaign and could be a difficult environment to walk into which would bring a lot of pressure.
But if this is a sign of the transfer business the Baggies want to do this summer then that can only be a good thing as Anderson has shown a lot of promise with Rovers.
He would be a great addition to the side and it would be a great next step in his development as a player.
There are certainly better options out there for Anderson than West Brom, and that is not saying that there are better clubs in pursuit, instead, there are sides interested who would offer the chance of more regular game time.
That is likely to be key in Newcastle’s decision making, because if he is able to have a productive stint in the Championship, then the Magpies might look to integrate him into the side for the following campaign.
Anderson is proving three months into his senior career that he has the talent, confidence and mindset to go on and enjoy a successful career, with the 19-year-old needing to continue to take positive steps.
For me, a move to West Brom could go one of two ways.
He could show a continuation of this exponential rise that has seen him look head and shoulders over the level of the division at League Two level, or he may take a while to adapt and could see first team opportunities rather limited at a club the size of West Brom.