Gareth Southgate dangles England carrot in front of Newcastle United star Elliot Anderson

Newcastle United star Elliot Anderson has had the carrot of international football dangled in front of him by Gareth Southgate.

The Newcastle playmaker has made a successful return from a back injury and has started the last three Toon games with impressive performances. Anderson was actually called up by Scotland last autumn and found himself in an international tug of war with Southgate's Three Lions but left the Hampden Park camp early due to an injury.

Anderson has always made it clear that nothing had been decided on the international front but Southgate stated publicly that the Whitley Bay lad would be considered for the England "junior teams" in the future. That sounds like it's going to come too late for this summer's European Championships, and it might be a similar story for Scotland given Steve Clarke's squad is settled going into the tournament.

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Anderson must focus on his club football first and foremost but he is starting to show what he can do after a frustrating campaign. The 21-year-old was Newcastle's best player in pre-season but then suffered a back injury.

Anderson, speaking to United match day magazine, said: "I really thought this was going to be the season to sort of get in the team

"To have an injury like that as well – a really unlucky one – made it even worse. I always think to myself, ‘What position would I be in now if I didn’t get injured?’ But I think I need to put that to the back of my mind and just do it all again, which I believe I can."