Ex-Arsenal talent Wenger compared to Yaya Toure replaces Chelsea sensation

Chuks Aneke has joined Zulte-Waregem as a replacement for Chelsea youngster Thorgan Hazard.

A few eyebrows were raised at the end of the season when the players Arsenal were letting go on a free transfer were announced. The likes of Nicklas Bendtner and Park Chu-Young were expected, but Chuks Aneke was always supposed to be a future star - he was at least supposed to get his chance.

Aneke joined the North London outfit when he was just seven years old and during his time at The Gunners he has represented England at every age level up to under-19.

In 2009 he was wanted by Barcelona but instead signed a professional contract with the club and after loan spells at Stevenage and Preston. For the past two campaigns he has been at Crewe Alexandra - impressing at the League One club.

Wenger himself gave the 6ft 3ins midfield dynamo the Toure tag in 2011:

“Chuks is a bit like Yaya Toure – he has body power and good technique. We had Yaya here and for me Chuks is a bit similar because he can play behind the striker or in a deeper role as well. We will have to see where he will develop; it is not excluded that in the future he will play deeper in midfield.”

He spent the last two seasons at Crewe Alexandra - and was obviously not up to scratch for The Gunners.

He has been linked with Leeds, Millwall and Charlton but he has now become one of the few young English talents to chance his arm abroad.

Aneke has signed a three-year deal at Belgian outfit Zulte Waregem. He said of the move:

“This is a great opportunity for me and I will do my best to take it as soon as possible. I think Belgian football will suit my playing style."

And the player he is effectively replacing is also well known to Premier League fans. Zulte, usually a sleepy side in the Belgian Pro League, have recently become title challengers - due mostly to the fantastic form of Thorgan Hazard, the younger brother of Eden, and a fellow Chelsea starlet.

Thorgan was named the Belgian Player of the Year last season - and his performances have attracted more illustrious teams, making it likely he spends next term on loan again, perhaps in the Bundesliga.

And Aneke, the man once dubbed Toure-esque, will now face the challenge of filling his boots.

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