McAuley hails new West Brom teammate Anelka

West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley has told Sky Sports that veteran striker Nicolas Anelka has already made impact at the club since signing at the Hawthorns earlier in the month.

Anelka, 34, made the move back to the Premier League after a one-year stay with Shanghai Shenhua, but during his time with the Chinese outfit the Frenchman was also sent out on loan to Juventus.

McAuley believes that regardless of Anelka’s age and frequent movement in transfer windows, the veteran striker can still do a job in the Premier League. “He is an athlete, he has breezed through training and his awareness and pace are still on another level,” McAuley added.

Anelka moved from Chelsea to China 18 months ago and his return English top flight means West Brom are his sixth Premier League club throughout his 18 year career. The French hit-man scored 38 goals in his 125 appearances for Chelsea, making it his most prolific stay in England to date. One main reason behind his surprise switch to Albion is thought to be Baggies boss Steve Clarke, who worked with Anelka at Stanford Bridge.

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