Millwall have approached Newcastle United to express their interest in taking attacking midfielder Elliot Anderson on loan next season.
The 19-year-old has scored six goals and claimed three assists since joining Bristol Rovers at the end of January, leading Gas manager Joey Barton to dub him the ‘Geordie Maradona’.
And the South London Press understands that the Lions have made an enquiry for the teenager, who has represented both England and Scotland at youth level.
Fulham’s Fabio Carvalho is the only teenager with more goal contributions in England’s top four divisions than Anderson, who signed a long-term contract with the Toon on his 18th birthday.
But Anderson, unlike Carvalho, has only had half a campaign at first-team level and has turned heads with his displays in League Two.
He made his senior debut for Newcastle in January 2021 in an FA Cup tie against Arsenal.
Anderson previously played for Wallsend Boys Club – a production line of North-East talent with the likes of Alan Shearer, Michael Carrick, Steve Bruce and Peter Beardsley coming through their ranks – before signing for United at the age of eight.
Millwall will hope that their highly successful loan with Arsenal’s Dan Ballard will help in landing the England U19 international.
Ballard has made 31 appearances for the South Londoners this season – only knee surgery at the start of December preventing him from posting even bigger numbers.
Millwall have provided Arsenal loan manager Ben Knapper with a detailed performance plan every couple of weeks charting the centre-back’s development.
Anderson has scored in Bristol Rovers’ last three matches to boost their automatic promotion hopes.
Barton made the comparison to Argentinian great Maradona after Anderson got the clincher in a 1-0 win over Colchester last month.
He said: “I’ve been listening to Bill Shankley tapes a lot today. He talked a lot about a 19-year-old Diego Maradona and how he slows down in the penalty area, exactly like Elliot Anderson does. [He is] such a talent.”
“Elliot has been brilliant for us from the first day we brought him in. I would have paid to watch him tonight – he was that good. He is growing into the shirt and his goal capped an outstanding performance.
“Elliot is a huge talent.”