Player profile

Nicolas Anelka

Nicolas Anelka

Birthdate: 14 March 1979
Birthplace: Versailles, France
Other clubs: Paris St Germain (1995-97), Arsenal (1997-99), Real Madrid (1999-2000), Paris St Germain (2 / 2000-02), Manchester City (2002-05), Fenerbache (2005-06), Bolton Wanderers (2006-08), Chelsea (2008-12), Shanghai Shenua (2012-), Juventus (loan 2013), West Bromwich Albion (2013-14), Mumbai City (2014-15)
Bought from: Paris St Germain (loan)
Signed for LFC: 1000000 (on loan), 20.12.2001
International debut: 22.04.1998 vs. Sweden
International caps: 69/14 (1/0 at LFC) - 17.06.2010
Liverpool debut: 26.12.2001
Last appearance: 11.05.2002
Debut goal: 05.01.2002
Last goal: 11.05.2002
Contract expiry: 12.05.2002
Win ratio: 63.64% W:14 D:5 L:3
Games/goals ratio: 4.4
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 24 / 5
LFC league games/goals: 20 / 4
Total LFC games/goals: 22 / 5

Player profile

Who could guess that one of Anelka's many destinations would be Liverpool? Former Young Player of the Year in England has destroyed a number of golden opportunities with his attitude including a career at Anfield. He and his brothers tested Gérard Houllier's patience and the boss refused to buy him. A particular night when the lights went out against Newcastle was Nico's golden moment at Liverpool. A superb display from the mercurial Frenchman lit up Anfield in a 3-0 win. Anelka claimed to be excited with the prospect of joining the Reds: "Soon Liverpool will be able to sign me. It's a long time since I enjoyed myself so much on the pitch. Liverpool is a fantastic club. I also really like Liverpool as a city." Many supporters were surprised when Houllier decided not to make Anelka a permanent addition to his squad at the end of the 2001/02 season. Four goals from 20 League games had helped the club achieve second place in the Premier League behind champions Arsenal. Houllier decided to buy El Hadji Diouf and nobody in their right mind would consider him a better signing than Anelka might have been. Phil Thompson, who was Houllier's no. 2 at the time, revealed to LFChistory.net why Anelka wasn't purchased. "Arséne Wenger rang up Gérard and said: ‘Gérard, I have to tell you. Nicolas’ brothers have just rang me up and they’ve asked me to take Nicolas back to Arsenal.’ Once his brothers tried to sell Nicolas to Arsenal while he was on loan at us, that was the end."

It wasn't long before Anelka was back in English football anyway as Kevin Keegan signed him for Manchester City, where he spent three fairly successful years scoring 38 goals in 89 League games before he was on the move again, this time to Turkish club Fenerbache. He helped them win the championship. During the summer of 2006, Anelka signed a four-year contract at Bolton Wanderers that had cost them a club record £8 million. When Chelsea came calling in the January transfer window of 2008, it was hard for the player or his club to say no. The £15 million fee meant that close on £90 million had been spent on Anelka's fees from the time he joined Real Madrid from Arsenal in 1999. A Champions League winner with Madrid, he would reach another final with Chelsea but after a tight match that went the full distance it was his penalty kick, saved by Manchester United 'keeper Edwin van der Sar, that meant that London clubs were still without a European Cup. In his second season at Chelsea Anelka finished top-scorer of the Premier League with 19 goals.

Anelka continued to help Chelsea to domestic prizes as he was a member of their successful FA Cup-winning teams in both 2009 and 2010. He also won his second Premier League winners' medal twelve years after winning his first with Arsenal in 1998. Further European success, however, eluded him with the west-London club being knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona in 2009 and Inter Milan in 2010. Anelka made 32 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in 2010/11 to take his total to close to 450 in that competition for the five English clubs he has represented. He only scored nine goals in the domestic competitions but added another seven in the Champions League. In January 2012, Anelka signed a two-year deal with Chinese club Shanghai Shenua. Three months later he was also named as a member of Shenua's coaching staff, effectively becoming assistant manager to his countryman Jean Tigana, although he subsequently resigned only four days later. Anelka was loaned to Juventus in January 2013 as the Turin club were short in attack due to injuries. However, during his five-month loan spell in Turin he only played twice for Juve's first team, once in Serie A and once in the Champions League. Anelka signed a one-year deal to return to the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion early in July 2013.

Anelka was dismissed by the Baggies in mid-March 2014 after claiming that he had quit the club via social media, the incident emerging in relation to the controversial "quenelle" gesture he made after scoring against West Ham earlier in the season. On 6 April Atletico Mineiro president, Alexandre Kalil, confirmed that the 35-year-old had signed for the Brazilian Copa Libertadores winners. However, the Brazilian club then pulled out of the deal to sign the forward, claiming that the player had not met the deadline to sign his contract. In September 2014 Anelka joined Mumbai City managed by Peter Reid in the inaugural Indian Super League. After failing to make the end of season play-offs Anelka agreed a deal to join Na Hussein Dey in Algeria but the move was blocked by the FA there as he was not a current international. He then returned to Mumbai City in July 2015, accepting an offer to be the club's player-manager. Anelka selected himself four times as the club finished sixth out of eight teams and he was replaced for the 2016 season. In May 2016 he announced his intention to open an academy for teenage strikers in Belgium, then in February 2017 was appointed as a consultant at Dutch side Roda JC, advising on academy matters.

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 20 2 0 0 0 22
2001-2002 20 2 0 0 0 22

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
2 Southampton
2 Arsenal
2 Ipswich Town
1 Charlton Athletic
1 Manchester United
1 Birmingham City
1 Fulham
1 Tottenham
1 Middlesbrough
1 Derby
1 Sunderland
1 Aston Villa
1 Newcastle United
1 Chelsea
1 Blackburn Rovers
1 West Ham United
1 Everton
1 Bolton Wanderers
1 Leicester City
Total Started/substitutions
15 Started
1 On the bench
7 Substitute
5 Substituted
Total Competition
20 Premier League
2 FA Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 4 1 0 0 0 5
2001-2002 4 1 0 0 0 5

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Started/substitutions
4 Started
1 Substitute
Total Competition
4 Premier League
1 FA Cup
Total Goal minute period
1 1-15 minutes
1 31-45 minutes
1 61-75 minutes
2 76-90 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
5 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 26.12.2001 Aston Villa Villa Park League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 85 05.01.2002 Birmingham City Anfield FA Cup

Related Articles

Old boy Anelka returns to dent Liverpool hopes

The Telegraph report on Liverpool - Manchester City on 03.05.2003.More

Murphy the spark as lights dim on Newcastle hopes

Match report from 06.03.2002 on Liverpool - Newcastle from The Telegraph.More

Related Quotes

"Soon Liverpool will be able to sign me. It's a long time since I enjoyed myself so much on the pitch. Liverpool is a fantastic club. I also really like Liverpool as a city."

Anelka in March 2002

"It will probably be discussed for a long time why Nicolas Anelka was never signed permanently. I think it was probably one of the strangest decisions ever taken by Houllier. He sold Robbie Fowler and asked the fans to trust him and said he would bring in a world class replacement, and he did that with Nicolas Anelka. I think everyone was absolutely delighted and it's a tribute to Anelka as he was so good people quickly stopped talking about Robbie."

Liverpool Echo's Chris Bascombe on Nicolas Anelka

The Kop applaud me and know I wanted to stay. I would no doubt be at Liverpool now if Gerard Houllier had taken up the option to buy me. Everything about them fascinates me - the team, the very British stadium, the fans, the city, the red of their shirts. And I was flattered by what Stevie Gerrard said about me in his book. He is a player who can do everything on the field."

Anelka in January 2007

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Paris St Germain 1995-1996 France 1 2 0 2 0
Paris St Germain 1996-1997 France 1 8 1 10 1
Arsenal 1996-1997 England Premier League 4 0 4 0
Arsenal 1997-1998 England Premier League 26 6 41 9
Arsenal 1998-1999 England Premier League 35 17 46 19
Real Madrid 1999-2000 Spain 1 19 2 26 4
Paris St Germain 2000-2001 France 1 27 8 36 13
Paris St Germain 2001-2002 France 1 12 2 15 3
Manchester City 2002-2003 England Premier League 38 14 41 14
Manchester City 2003-2004 England Premier League 32 16 43 24
Manchester City 2004-2005 England Premier League 19 7 19 7
Fenerbahce 2004-2005 Turkey 1 14 4 18 4
Fenerbahce 2005-2006 Turkey 1 25 10 37 12
Fenerbahce 2006-2007 Turkey 1 0 0 2 0
Bolton Wanderers 2006-2007 England Premier League 35 11 39 12
Bolton Wanderers 2007-2008 England Premier League 18 10 22 11
Chelsea 2007-2008 England Premier League 14 1 24 2
Chelsea 2008-2009 England Premier League 37 19 54 25
Chelsea 2009-2010 England Premier League 33 11 44 15
Chelsea 2010-2011 England Premier League 32 6 45 16
Chelsea 2011-2012 England Premier League 10 0 14 0
Shanghai Shenua 2011-2012 China 1 22 3 22 3
Juventus 2012-2013 Italy Serie A 2 0 2 0
WBA 2013-2014 England Premier League 12 2 12 2
Mumbai City 2014-2015 Indian Super League 7 2 7 2
Mumbai City 2015-2016 Indian Super League 6 0 6 0
Total 489 152 631 198
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