WHY ANELKA IS LIKE A HOOKER IN KINGS CROSS – £15mil Transfer Analysis

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By Bilal Zaidi

‘Nicolas Anelka moves to Chelsea for £15million’ was the headline I saw yesterday on Sky Sports News, an inevitable transfer after months of speculation in the press. He has now apparently become the world’s most expensive footballer in terms of accumulated transfer fee’s, now adding up to approximately £87million.

What does this record mean? My personal analysis of this statistic is that Nikolas Anelka is like a hooker in Kings Cross, he jumps from one employer to another, at the age of 28, he has been at 8 different clubs including two spells at his original club Paris Saint-Germain. He started at Paris, moved to Arsenal under Wenger where he flourished and the world saw a young superstar in the making. An explosive striker with lightning speed and technical ability, a striker who could run at defences and finish with precision and power.

After winning the double with Arsenal he made a big money move to Madrid where the club hopping began. A season of two goals in 19 appearances was hardly the sort of record Real Madrid were happy with after investing about £22.3million on his transfer. He was sold off to Paris Saint-Germain again in a spell that would only last 18 months. Since then he has worn the shirt of Liverpool, Manchester City, Fenerbahce, Bolton and now Chelsea.

What does this tell you about the young 19 year old prodigy that was Nicolas Anelka at Arsenal? Well, apart from the obvious that he clearly has talent that 8 different clubs have been willing to invest in him, it also shows us Anelka has shown great fight, determination and spirit, to turn his football career around. It may also show he enjoys signing on fee’s to purchase fast cars and shiny rims.

After making a big money move from Arsenal and seeing his old chum, Henry, become an Arsenal legend and all time top goal scorer at the club where he first made a name for himself, he must have been slightly envious of his childhood friend. They used to share bunk beds when going on youth France duty together, they go back, so it is only natural for Anelka to compare his career to someone like Henry’s.

Henry came as Anelka left, becoming one of the greatest footballers of our generation and achieving worldwide recognition, respect and self fulfilment. Where was Anelka at this time? Eating kofta kebab with extra chilli sauce in Turkey, being rejected by Gerrard Houlier who had the likes of El Hadj Diouf playing for him and then more recently becoming a fan favourite in the exotic city of Bolton.

Fair play to Anelka, he has fought his way back up the ladder, scored goals at an impressive record and demonstrated that a footballer can make himself rich…I mean…wanted by one of the best teams in Europe if he performs. Anelka and Drogba could be a crazy partnership, one to watch in the coming months when Drogba returns from ACN.

My final word on Anelka is a positive one; he came to Arsenal as a youngster and with the guidance of Wenger became recognised amongst his fellow professionals. He has had an up and down career since then, jumping from club to club, international team problems…but it shows that class (in terms of footballing ability, not so much attitude in this case) and perseverance prevails.

If he becomes a success at Chelsea then it would be a truly remarkable turnaround, but the question remains; what would Anelka be like now if he had stayed all those years ago when he was just 19? He would have regret that all his life, that is if he is actually motivated by success rather than purely material wealth…

One can only assume a footballers character on their actions without personally knowing them, so if he stays at Chelsea for more than a few years then fair play to him. If he moves on once again, then he would have achieved the ultimate “slut” of football status after earning a fair chunk of cash from Mr Abromavich’s dirty oil money. Long live Arsenal’s progression and kaizen approach to football, the only one that remains is the Don, Monsieur Wenger, we salute you.