England Aims to Attract Newcastle Midfielder Elliot Anderson, Still Eligible for Both Nations

Gareth Southgate is interested in luring Newcastle midfielder Elliot Anderson into an international career with England.

The 20-year-old Geordie has represented Scotland at various junior age groups, although he has played once for England Under 19s.

He was handed his first senior Scotland call-up for last week’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Cyprus and tomorrow’s prestige friendly against England — but pulled out of the squad through injury.

Anderson, who was born in England but has a Scottish grandmother, is still eligible for either nation. And Southgate admits England are keeping tabs on the midfielder.

‘We liked him and we do like him, we think he’s a player that’s doing really well,’ said the England boss. ‘He was called into their (Scotland’s) squad earlier in the week and I don’t know what the position is at the moment. 

‘I saw he’s pulled out. Let’s see, that’s something that John (McDermott, FA technical director) and others at our organisation will be picking up. He’s definitely a player we like.’

However, Southgate has conceded that England have no chance of persuading Brighton striker Evan Ferguson to make the switch from Republic of Ireland. 

The 18-year-old needs just one more competitive cap for the Irish before he becomes ineligible for England under FIFA rules. Ferguson withdrew from the latest Republic squad, sparking suggestions that England were looking to pounce for the teenager.

But Southgate added: ‘He’s made it clear he feels he was born in Ireland and he’s represented them. 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 (Erling) Haaland and wishing that he might have been available as well! But we’ve got a pretty good No 9 and we’re very happy with him.

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