England looking to snatch Newcastle star Elliot Anderson away from Scotland

Gareth Southgate reviews Ukraine game

Elliot Anderson remains on the England radar after he pulled out of Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad this week. The Whitley Bay-born 20-year-old qualifies for Scotland through his father’s mother, who was born in Glasgow.

The Newcastle midfielder has played for Scotland at all the age-group levels from under-16 up. However, he has withdrawn from a number of recent Scotland under-21 squads to keep his options open having represented England under-21 in an unofficial friendly against the Arsenal under-23 side in March 2022.

This month, though, Clarke gave him his first call-up to the senior squad and though Anderson accepted his place, he subsequently withdrew with a hamstring injury. It leaves Southgate eager to find out what the situation is going forward with the FA technical director John McDermott hot on the case.

“We liked him and we do like him,” Southgate said. “He’s a player that’s doing really well. Obviously, he was called into their squad earlier in the week and I don’t know what the position is at the moment.

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“I saw he’s pulled out. Let’s see – that’s something that John and others at our organisation will be picking up. He’s definitely a player we like.”

Southgate played down suggestions that Ireland’s Evan Ferguson is also still on the radar. “I think he’s played too many games at senior level,” he said of Brighton’s Irish international striker who was born in Bettystown but has an English mother.

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“He’s got eight caps now. I’m not exactly sure on whether he definitely can’t, but I think he’s made it very clear he feels he was born in Ireland and he’s represented them and I would 100 per cent back that. He’s a bloody good player.

“We have to respect him, I don’t think he’s given any inkling that would be any different. At the same time, we were looking at Yorksire-born Erling Haaland and wishing that he might have been available as well. But we’ve got a pretty good number nine [Harry Kane] and we’re very happy with him.”

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