Anelka back in contention for West Brom after postponing retirement plans

Nicolas Anelka will return to training at West Bromwich Albion on Thursday.

The former France international only linked up with the Baggies during the summer, when he signed a one-year contract with the club. However, the recent death of his agent and friend Eric Manasse hit him hard, to such an extent he was considering quitting the game last week.

However, Anelka has now had a change of heart and has decided to prolong a career which has taken in England, Spain, Turkey, China and Italy as well as his homeland. The 34-year-old will resume training with Albion on Thursday, and will be in contention to make his second appearance for the club when they welcome Michael Laudrup and Swansea City this weekend.

A statement on West Brom’s website read: “Albion can confirm that Nicolas Anelka will resume first-team training tomorrow and be available for selection for Sunday. The striker was excused from club duty for the fixtures against Everton and Newport County on compassionate grounds and, having met with head coach Steve Clarke today, he will re-join his team-mates tomorrow.”

This will be a welcome relief for Clarke, who led the Baggies to an eighth place finish in the Premier League last season. This term they had started slowly with a home defeat to Southampton which was followed by a draw at Everton, and they are yet to register a first goal. Anelka, who has in the past found the back of the net for Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea, is sure to improve their firepower upon his return.


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