London - Nicolas Anelka's latest stint in the Premier League could be over after only 83 minutes.
former France striker, who started in West Bromwich Albion's opening
day loss to Southampton last weekend, is pondering retirement following
the death of his agent.
After two disappointing seasons at
Shanghai Shenhua and Juventus, the 34-year-old striker was hoping to get
another chance in England, where he spent some of the best years of his
career. But he told West Brom manager Steve Clarke that he wanted to
quit football following the sudden death of Eric Manasse.
learning on Thursday that Manasse had passed away, the former Arsenal,
Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton and Chelsea player left training and
was granted an indefinite compassionate leave.
lost a close friend and an agent over the weekend, he died suddenly,"
Clarke said Friday. "I went in and 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."
Clarke said Anelka told different members
of the club that he wanted to retire but added that he asked the player
to think twice about his decision.
"I'm not going to deny that he
used that word in the conversations we had with him," Clarke said. "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."
whose career has also been managed by his brother Claude, wrote on his
Facebook page that he was feeling an "immense sorrow" following the
death of Manasse.
If Anelka decides to retire for good, it will
mark the end of the career of one of the most talented and controversial
players France has produced since former Manchester United great Eric
After growing up in a Parisian suburb, Anelka started his
career at Paris Saint-Germain and was quickly spotted by Arsenal
manager Arsene Wenger, who signed him in 1997.
Known for his
immense technical and athletic qualities, Anelka played a big part in
the Gunners' "double" win of the Premier League and the FA Cup that
season but missed out on a place in the France team that won the 1998
Anelka's sometimes nonchalant attitude and apparent
lack of commitment to the team started to anger the Arsenal fans, who
gave him the nickname "Le Sulk." Anelka then joined Real Madrid, where
he won the Champions League, before moving to PSG, Liverpool, Man City,
Fenerbahce and Bolton.
The much-traveled Frenchman then struck up
an electric partnership with Didier Drogba at Chelsea, winning the
Premier League title and two FA Cups with the Blues.
the biggest controversy of his career with the French national team,
when he was sent home from the 2010 World Cup after insulting then-coach
Raymond Domenech in the dressing room. His reputation reached its
nadir, but the stubborn Anelka refused to apologize and ended his
international career in the wake of the scandal with 14 goals in 69
Anelka recently agreed to a one-year deal with West Brom, with an option for a further season.
think I will finish in England. I'm happy here. I also hope that it
will be with this club," Anelka said following his arrival. "I'm 34
years old now and I want to enjoy my football. I hope everything will be