Ex-French international striker Nicholas Anelkawas a hot prospect during his teenage years and big things were expected of him but he rarely lived up to that promise later in his career though it must be said that he played for some of the biggest clubs on the European football stage.
Arsenal fans would be forgiven if they penciled Nicholas Anelka as a future Ballon d'Or winner when he burst onto the Premier League scene as a teenager during the 1997/98 season. He had signed for the Gunners in 1997 shortly after he made his professional debut for French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint Germain (PSG) a year earlier. Arsenal paid £500,000 to sign him from PSG in February 1997, some months after the appointment of legendary manager Arsene Wenger. He didn't break into the first team at Arsenal until the next season.
Nicholas Anelka got his Arsenal chance during the 1997/98 season due to the long-term injury to then topscorer Ian Wright and he seized the opportunity with both hands. His first Arsenal goal came during the 3-2 win over Manchester United in November 1997. He was a key player in the Arsenal team that won both the Premier League and FA Cup titles that season.
In the following season, he was the topscorer for Arsenal with 17 league goals and that earned him the PFA Young Player of the Year Award. He was keen to leave Arsenal in the summer of 1999 and he got his wish with the £22.3m transfer to Real Madrid. After the transfer, Nicholas Anelkanever reached the lofty heights attained at Arsenal.
The Frenchman didn't perform at Real Madrid and he lasted just one season in Spain. He had gone without scoring in his first five months at Real Madrid though it must be said that he was part of the team that won the 2000 Champions League title. He returned to PSG where he spent two years out of the six-year deal signed. The 2000 European Championship winner and 2001 Confederations Cup winner with France spent the last year of that two-year stay on loan at English team Liverpool. He went on to play for Manchester City (England), Fenerbahce (Turkey), Bolton Wanderers (England), Chelsea (England), Shanghai Shenhua (China), Juventus (Italy), West Bromwich Albion (England) and Mumbai City FC (India).
Nicholas Anelka was a proper journeyman or nomad during his playing career. He has turned to management since his playing career ended.