Nicolas Anelka scored a beautiful and killer goal for France in their recent Euro qualifier against the Ukraine.
He has in fact scored in each of his last three appearances after his recent reconciliation with Domenech and the French national team. His performances for the national team and indeed for Bolton have oozed maturity. He is 28 now after all.
We have been watching Nicolas Anelka closely during this past campaign and cannot fail but be impressed with his attitude and high quality of performances. Not to mention those two gloriously taken goals against the Arsenal at the Reebok.
Regular visitors to Arsenal Analysis will remember our “eulogy” of the player a few months ago and also in other postings such as “what does Arsenal need to do to challenge for next season?”
And now Manchester United, it has been reported, may want to sign him. We don’t blame them. He will be a great signing for them.
But even at this late hour why shouldn’t Arsene go for him? He certainly fits all the football requirements that Arsenal badly need to supplement their forward line.
In our earlier posting we laid out the attributes he will bring to the team:
- he is ideal as a forward to play with Henry or without him. We have argued before that Arsenal need two but may sign only one player!
- he is a very skilful player who scores goals for fun but can keep the ball and bring players into the game. Look how well he is playing for those average players at Bolton.
- he has played for Arsenal before and knows the way Wenger wants his forwards to play
- he knows the English Premier League well and therefore does not require any adjustment time as a new raw Wenger recruit would otherwise need.
- at only 28 years old he now has a blend of relative youthfulness along with maturity and experience that is sorely missing from an experience depleted squad.
His attitude and maturity have been evident on the football pitch both for Bolton and for the France national team. He has received no yellow or red cards.
- he is not likely to cost silly money and anything under 8 m will be considered value for money.
What a tremendous addition to the scoring capability of Arsenal he will be. He has scored 11 goals for Bolton this past season out of 35 appearances with 5 assists even. Compare that to the 17 he scored (out of 35) during his last season at Arsenal during the 1998-1999 season.
And for the goals scored this season he was playing the lonesome striker role; in an average, launch them long and high, Bolton side. Imagine how many goals he will score in an Arsenal side that creates scoring opportunities for fun.
Anelka himself, looking to play in the Champion’s League next year, has said: “there has been no contact with any other club for my signature as yet, none at all. But if there was then, of course, I couldn't say no to a club like Manchester United."
The good news is that apparently David Gill, the Man Utd Chief Executive, confirmed to Bolton chairman Phil Gartside that they have no interest in Anelka.
Wenger himself admitted that he considered signing him last season but obviously thought otherwise.
It’s about time he reconsidered. And fast.