Nicolas Anelka will play no part for West Bromwich Albion this weekend.
The French striker joined the Baggies during the summer, and he started their opening day 1-0 home defeat to Southampton on Saturday afternoon. He was set to make his second appearances for his new club when Steve Clark’s side travel to Goodison Park to face Everton, but it has been confirmed he will not be in the travelling squad.
Reports emerged this afternoon that Anelka had walked out of Albion’s training session today and had decided to retire from the game, but it has since been confirmed that he took no part in training after he learned of the death of his agent, Eric Manasse. And following this sad news, the 34-year-old has been granted compassionate leave.
A brief statement was made on the club’s official website regarding the situation, although it did not comment on claims the player was considering retiring. It read: “West Bromwich Albion can confirm that Nicolas Anelka will not be involved in Saturday’s game at Everton. The club have excused the striker from club duty on compassionate grounds.”
When Anelka joined West Brom in the summer, he indicated this could be his last club before hanging up his much-travelled boots. His contract is for one season only, but it now remains to be seen if he will bring forward his retirement.