Ex-Arsenal wonderkid can be 'our Fellaini', will he replace Chelsea ace's contribution at Zulte?

Belgium Flag

Former Arsenal prospect Chuks Aneke is now in Belgium, where he has the difficult task of trying to help the team recover after Chelsea loanee Thorgan Hazard's departure.

Chuks Aneke left Arsenal this summer on a free transfer, beginning a new chapter in his career by choosing to play abroad.

He has joined Zulte-Waregem in Belgium, where the side are starting afresh themselves after the league's Golden Ball winner Thorgan Hazard left after two season on loan.

In those two years, Hazard's contribution was immense, the attacking midfielder scoring 21 goals and providing 31 assists for the club.

Zulte have recognised no one player can replace him, and lack the financial power to buy a proven replacement capable of that kind of output.

Instead they have snapped up several players with excellent potential, and former Gunner Chuks Aneke, who spent last season on loan at Crewe, is one such player.

The 20-year-old was famously compared to Yaya Toure by Arsene Wenger, who said: "Chuks is a bit like Yaya Toure – he has body power and good technique. We had Yaya here [on trial] and for me Chuks is a bit similar because he can play behind the striker or in a deeper role as well."

Zulte-Waregem's coach Franck Dury sees a different comparison however, based around the 6ft 3" attacker's frame.

He told a press conference on Thursday: "We have worked incredibly hard, and I saw a lot of quality, especially Cissako and Aneke, he could be our Fellaini."

Aneke's position could well be a similar attacking one to which United star Fellaini took up for Belgium at the World Cup, and he showed his credentials with an impressive 14 goals for Crewe last season.

If he can produce a similar number of goals this season, Zulte will be very happy with him, but they are hedging their bets just in case.

They have also signed younger brothers of famous players, Julian Benteke and Kylian Hazard, in the hope that one strikes gold, in replacing Thorgan Hazard who is now at Borussia Moenchengladbach on loan from Chelsea for the season.

Dury added: "I give it two years. Who knew Origi before the World Cup? Just how the stats of Hazard, his goals and assists, will fill, is still a problem. Collectively, anyway." 

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch