Eddie Howe recently suggested that Eliott Anderson will be staying at the club beyond the January window amid rumours he may leave on loan, but a lack a playing time could stunt his growth and development.
After a great loan spell at Bristol Rovers last season, there was an air of excitement surrounding the then 19-year-old as he returned to his parent club with a number of clubs wanting to take him on for the following campaign.
Despite the interest, Howe remained firm in wanting to keep him in and around the first-team to help with squad depth and give him a taste of Premier League football.
However, after just a handful of substitute appearances and some pretty flat performances in the cups where he’s clearly tried too hard, a drop down to the Championship and some regular playing time could be just what he needs.
He does not take up a spot in the 25-man squad and has the versatility to play both in midfield and on the left in the front three, but I feel he a loan spell over the second half of the season is needed
Here’s what Howe had to say on the matter last week:
“He’s very valued by us. He’s had a number of niggles over the last couple of months which have prevented him being involved more.
“He’s got a valuable role to play with us between now and the end season – we certainly won’t be loaning him anywhere.”
At the end of the day, Howe will know what is best for the youngster after spending every day with him in training, but it’s difficult to see Anderson being given significant minutes in a team that has been a consistent unit all season.
Hopefully he still gets a chance in the second-half of this campaign and starts to play with a bit more confidence and excitement like we saw in Bristol Rover’s promotion push.