The footballing journeyman that is Nicolas Anelka is now back in London. No, not at his old club Arsenal (who were speculated to be eager to embrace him once again) but at the Gunners’ bitter rivals Chelsea.
Sky Sports has confirmed that Chelsea have signed the volatile and temperamental French striker from Bolton Wanderers for a considerably huge sum of £15 million on a three-and-a-half years contract. Anelka becomes the first signing for Chelsea manager Avram Grant and the Israeli is confident that Anelka will prove his mettle and the transfer fee paid for him during the rest of the season.
Grant told the club’s website:
First of all he is a good finisher. He scores a lot of goals but not only that he can provide assists. He is a good footballer and has good pace. If I was not convinced about his temperament, he would not be here. He is a player who can play in any system and with any good players beside him. Even though we miss so many players, we didn’t make rush decisions, even though everyone expected us to. We decided to take players not only for six weeks but to think about Chelsea longer term but no more signings planned at the moment.
Anelka has always been regarded highly in the football community for his talent and quality but doubts have always lingered in is temperament and attitude. Anelka has been often accused of being reluctant to commit himself fully to his players and of thinking too big of himself. Yet Grant has confident in him. Anelka has scored 11 goals in 22 matches this season and in the absence of Didier Drogba and Solomon Kalou, both of whom have gone to Africa to play for their respective teams in the African Nations’ Cup, and Andriy Shevchenko who is suffering from an ankle injury at the moment, Anelka would get the chance to prove that he has still got enough firepower and desire to last at a top European club.
But is Anelka worth the £15million paid for him by Chelsea to Bolton? And will Anelka be successful at Stamford Bridge?