Nicolas Anelka used his Twitter account to announce on Friday that he has terminated his contract with West Bromwich Albion, with immediate effect.
The French forward has been at the center of controversy since the end of December, when he made a ‘quenelle’ gesture after scoring against West Ham. Last month, the Frenchman was banned for five games and fined £80,000 ($133,000) by an independent commission. Both Anelka and the English FA decided against appealing the ruling, and the forward’s suspension was set to start on Saturday, with the Baggies’ trip to Swansea.
Instead Anelka, who in January used his Twitter to state, “But the question is why should I leave my club & England? I’m happy here & I did nothing wrong…” will leave West Brom. The 35-year-old joined the West Midlands outfit in December, after a brief stint in China and only three appearances with Juventus. He made eleven starts and one substitute appearance with the Albion, scoring two goals – the last of which led to the controversial celebration.
Anelka made four starts for West Brom after the gesture, his last coming in his side’s 4-3 loss to Aston Villa. The Frenchman came off with injury after just 25 minutes.
At 35, it’s clear Anelka was already at the end of his career in soccer. Will his January appearance mark his last? Or will he head home to France, and attempt to squeeze at least one more season from what had previously been an illustrious career?