Anelka arrival is a statement of intent

Friday 5th July 2013 12:17

Nicolas Anelka: Likely to be a hit at The Hawthorns

Nicolas Anelka: Likely to be a hit at The Hawthorns

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FanZone's Joe Chapman admits the capture of Nicolas Anelka could be a costly mistake but feels he is more likely to be a hit at The Hawthorns.

Anxiety has grown among West Brom fans in recent weeks. Who are we going to sign? Who are being linked with? Whose rumours have been quashed by local journalists 'in the know'?

Many realise by now that this is the way Albion chairman Jeremy Peace operates. Let the people talk. We'll keep everything under wraps.

The signing of Nicholas Anelka is a significant one for many reasons. Perhaps the most decorated player to grace The Hawthorns since the stylish Nwankwo Kanu, the 34-year-old Frenchman did enough in talks with Steve Clarke to convince him he still maintains the appetite and desire to compete at Premier League level.

It's a gamble, regardless of the lack of a fee. The French striker will most likely become Albion's highest-ever earner, with reports of a £5million salary being touted. In that respect, it could be a costly mistake.

Me personally? I believe, despite his age, he will prove a success. He's undoubtedly one of the most naturally-gifted finishers that the Premier League has seen. The ability the Baggies now have to attract this calibre of player is a positive sign, as we look to continue moving in the right direction.

Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus... that's quite a CV. The first since Laurie Cunningham to grace the turf of the Bernabeu and The Hawthorns in the same career (that is, if you discount Borja Valero's brief spell with Real's B team).

Attention now turns elsewhere. Salomon Kalou remains a possibility, while Franco Di Santo and Matej Vydra are also attacking options. The wide areas need to be filled, and the futures of Peter Odemwingie and Goran Popov need to be resolved.

Hopefully this signing will be a statement of intent - Albion mean business and are looking to improve on last season's eighth-placed finish.

Anelka himself has today stated he hopes to fire his new club into Europe; in that case, we'd better start digging out our passports!

By Joe Chapman. Follow him on Twitter at @jcwba16 - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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