Whilst Nicolas Anelka contemplates his footballing future, here is a look at his career.
Nicolas Anelka has hinted at retiring from football after being granted indefinite compassionate leave from West Bromwich Albion following the death of his agent.
Anelka has had a distinguished career which has seen him play for many clubs, several of them in the Premier League with transfer fees of a combined total of over £85m.
Two Premier League titles, three FA Cup’s, a Turkish League title, a Champions League to go with winning Euro 2000 with France is an impressive collection of honours.
For as much success he has had during his time on the field he has had his fair share of controversy surrounding him, however. On the field he was a footballer who played well off the shoulder of the defender and had good finishing ability, as well as having a good turn of pace – a striker that would have slotted in to any side nicely.
Career highs and lows
After coming through the ranks at Paris Saint Germain, Anelka was brought to the Premier League by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal for £500,000, and during his two years at Arsenal he scored 23 goals and was part of the double-winning side in 1998.
He moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in 1999 for a fee of £22.8m where he ended up having a bust up with Vincente Del Bosque leading to a 45-day suspension, but he did play his part in their 2000 Champions League triumph before returning to PSG, where he would have another bust up leading to a loan-spell at Liverpool.
Towards the end of 2001/02 season he was part of the side that finished second before surprisingly not being signed on a permanent deal, then he moved onto Manchester City prior to spending some time in Turkey representing Fenerbahce before returning to the Premier League with Bolton in 2006.
He spent one and a half seasons at the Reebok Stadium before Chelsea signed him in January 2008.
He was part of the side that made the Champions League final that season, but his decisive spot kick was saved by Edwin Van der Sar in the penalty shoot-out to give Manchester United the European Cup in Moscow.
He did, however, have success with Chelsea, including winning the FA Cup in his first full season before helping them to a domestic league and cup double under Carlo Ancelotti, where Anelka - in their 8-0 over Wigan - helped secure Chelsea the title by returning one of 59 goals he scored for them in total.
During that period he was involved in some controversy surrounding the French national side after he was banned for 18 games by the French Football federation over the mutiny in the World Cup squad that failed to get out of the group stages in 2010 in South Africa. Anelka scored a goal in the Champions League following this decision, and celebrated with a ‘handcuffs’ gesture.
He had a chance of football management at Shanghai Shenua in 2012, had a short loan spell at Juventus before moving back to the Premier League in the summer with West Brom, in a move that raised a few eyebrows.
Now with the sad death of his agent, it would be a shame if he felt he needed to quit the game as a result, but people would undoubtedly understand his decision...
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