Clarke hopes Anelka can continue at West Brom

West Bromwich Albion Head Coach Steve Clarke hopes that striker Nicolas Anelka will reconsider his wish to end his career, Sky Sports is reporting, after the 34-year-old was allowed compassionate leave following the death of his agent.

Following the death of Eric Manasse, Anelka left training early on Thursday, and Clarke has explained the situation. He said: “Obviously Nicolas lost a close friend and an agent over the weekend – he died suddenly.

I had a very brief chat with him, and he wasn’t in a good place. So the club have decided just to give him a bit of time to go away and think about it and get himself in a better place for the future.

When asked about the possibility of the Frenchman quitting, Clarke added: “I’m not going to deny that he used that word in the conversations we had with him. But we’ve given him time to go away and think about it and I don’t think we could do any more in the circumstances as they were.

Anelka made his competitive debut for Albion on Saturday, starting the club’s opening Premier League game of the season against Southampton. Having arrived this summer after spells in China and Italy, West Brom are Anelka’s sixth English club in a 17 year career.

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