Manchester United legend Andy Cole has praised Nicolas Anelka ahead of Saturday’s match with West Brom and described the Baggies striker as one of the greats of his generation.
At 34, the Frenchman is heading towards the end of an illustrious playing career that began in 1996 with Paris St-Germain. Since then, he has scored goals for no less than 11 different clubs, who have all contributed to the combined £90m total that has been spent on his services.
But having fallen out with a number of managers and teammates in his time, Anelka has earned has earned a reputation for disruption and was even nicknamed ‘Le Sulk’ by disgruntled Arsenal supporters in 1999, a moniker that Cole feels is unfair.
In fact, the Reds legend believes his fellow poacher does not garner the respect that such a goal-laden career deserves, something he puts down to an ill-informed perception of the man. And whilst speaking exclusively to ManUtd.com, Cole was keen to remind fans of Anelka’s achievements.
“He’s quality, and I mean quality,” said Andy. “Don’t forget, he was playing when he was a baby, having joined Arsenal when he was just 17.
"He went to Real Madrid at 21 for big money, he did it there and has done it at every football club he has been to. He even went to Bolton and scored goals.