Sky Sports News broke a story on Thursday reporting the West Bromwich Albion striker, Nicolas Anelka, had reportedly walked out on training and decided to retire from football. There were conflicting reports thereafter as to what actually occurred and West Brom confirmed later on Thursday that Anelka had been placed on compassionate leave by the club.
The reports wouldn’t have come as a huge surprise to some people. Anelka has been extremely awkward throughout his career. He has failed to settle at a variety of clubs and his consistency of performance has always been questioned. He hit the Premier League by storm in an Arsenal shirt in 1998 but I think the majority will say that he never really fulfilled his potential. His nickname became ‘le sulk’ and many felt that yesterday’s events were yet another sulk.
Fresh news has now surfaced and West Brom manager, Steve Clarke, has confirmed that Anelka wants to quit football. It is believed that the death of a close friend of Anelka is the reason for this decision. This will be a blow to West Brom. Over the last few weeks many had been tipping Anelka as a player to watch or a potential signing of the season if he could find some form. It was always going to be hit or miss and it now seems that Anelka’s West Brom career could be finished after only one game.