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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Anelka completes West Brom switch

Nicolas Anelka has signed for his sixth English club after agreeing a one-year deal with West Bromwich Albion.

Italy is the latest destination for French forward Nicolas Anelka, after he completed a move to Juventus
Nicolas Anelka last played in the Premier League for Chelsea in 2012

- Free agents left in limbo

Anelka, 34, underwent a medical at the Hawthorns on Thursday, as he looks to revive a Premier League career that appeared to end when he left Chelsea for Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in January 2012.

The former France international is reunited with his former coach at Stamford Bridge Steve Clarke, who was delighted to capture Anelka after losing last season's top scorer Romelu Lukaku back to parent club Chelsea.

"We are missing a bit of firepower from last year – we’re trying to put that right – and to kick off with the signing of Nicolas at the start of the summer is a great boost for everyone at the club,” Clarke told West Brom's official website.

“The sole focus at the club is trying to build on what we did last season. The more quality players you can bring to the club the better – and no-one can question Nicolas’ quality.

“He’s a player I have worked with before as I was at Chelsea when they signed him. He’s got a great work ethic, looks after himself and is a consummate professional. If you add that to the obvious talent he’s got I think he can prove to be a really top signing for the club.

“His experience with some of the top clubs in England and Europe will stand the group in good stead. Hopefully he will be able to inspire the other players to even greater heights than we managed to achieve last year.”

Albion sporting & technical director Richard Garlick added: “We’ve been in discussions with Nicolas and his representatives for a while, since we knew he was going to be a free agent.

“He’s eager to come back to the Premier League, his CV speaks for itself, and he is in good physical shape. It says a lot about where we are as a club that we are able to attract players of his calibre.”

Anelka, who has also played for Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Bolton in the Premier League, was a free agent after leaving Juventus at the end of last season, following a year in China with Shanghai Shenhua.

He becomes the Baggies first summer signing and will wear their No. 9 shirt after penning a one-year contract "with a further year’s option in the club’s favour".

West Brom have also been linked with PSV Eindhoven striker Ola Toivonen and Wigan Athletic's Arouna Kone as they look to boost an attack bereft of Lukaku and almost certain to lose Peter Odemwingie this summer.

Albion also retain an interest in another former Chelsea man Salomon Kalou, but face competition from West Ham United, who have reignited their interest in signing the 27-year-old Lille forward.

It is understood that Kalou, who left Chelsea on a free transfer 12 months ago, has a release clause in his contract which is believed to be as low as £3 million, although his £3 million-a-year salary in France is higher than the top earners at the Hawthorns and could prove a stumbling block.

 

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