Eddie Howe has hinted Anthony Gordon could be in line to make his first start for Newcastle United against Liverpool on Saturday.
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The 21-year-old’s two appearances for the club since a £40m move to St James’ Park have both come off the bench, though there have been some promising signs.
On his debut, Gordon almost recorded an assist with a brilliant through ball for Callum Wilson. Against Bournemouth on Saturday, the winger was involved in Miguel Almiron’s goal to level the scores.
With Joe Willock having gone off injured in the first-half, Newcastle had all of Gordon, Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak on the pitch at the same time. While that may prove be something of a rarity given Howe’s 4-3-3 preferred system, Bruno Guimaraes’ suspension and Willock’s potential absence could see a change of shape.
What has Eddie Howe said about Anthony Gordon?
Speaking to the Northern Echo after the game, Howe said of Gordon when asked if he has a chance to start on Saturday (via the Northern Echo):“Yeah, he has.
“It will be interesting!
“I have to say he’s trained really well, played really well in the two games he has had and we’re delighted with him.
“Yeah, I think at times you have to be flexible. You can have a preferred way of playing but we’ll always be able to tweak certain personnel or systems and you have to.
“We were quite prepared to do that, we were prepared to do it and we knew it was an option for us. Anthony came on and did really well in that central zone.”
How could Newcastle lineup against Liverpool?
Given the lack of cover in central midfield, perhaps we could see a 4-2-3-1 system.
It is of course not yet clear whether Willock will make the Liverpool game but if he cannot, Joelinton and Sean Longstaff operating in a double-pivot with Saint-Maximin, Gordon and Almiron behind either Isak or Callum Wilson looks like a possible solution.
While hardly ideal, that is an exciting frontline – on paper at least. With goals a problem of late, it will be fascinating to see if a change in formation would freshen things up a bit.