Baggies midfielder backs veteran striker to fill void left by Lukaku.
West Bromwich Albion midfielder Steven Reid has backed the club’s new signing Nicolas Anelka to fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku this season and hit the goal trail to keep the club pushing for a spot in Europe, talkSPORT reports.
The Belgian international hit 17 goals for the Baggies last season, but has since returned to Chelsea upon the completion of his season long loan deal.
That left manager Steve Clarke with a void to fill up front and he wasted no time in bringing in the veteran Frenchman Nicolas Anelka on a free transfer upon his release from Juventus in June. He has also since brought in Udinese striker Matej Vydra on loan.
And Reid believes that Anelka still has magic left in his old boots.
“The club has done well [in the transfer market]. Anelka has come in and hopefully he can get close to doing what big Rom [Lukaku] did last season.
“He’s been looking great in pre-season and we’re hoping he can fill that void, but it is difficult to replace a player who can score 17 Premier League goals in a season.”
Albion finished the season in eighth place and looked odds on to qualify for a spot in Europe at one point, and Reid, who missed most of the season through injury, believes the players know that they must keep up the same level of consistency throughout the campaign if they are to prosper.
“If we can get off to a flyer like last season the main aim is to continue that throughout the season,” he added.
“We need to maintain our form and consistency into the back end of the season when we, as players, let ourselves down last season.”