West Brom are on the verge of signing Premier League journeyman Nicolas Anelka, who is undergoing a medical ahead of his move to The Hawthorns.
Assuming the medical runs smoothly, the French striker will sign a two year deal at Albion after leaving Shanghai Shenhua this past winter to join Juventus on loan. The move to West Brom will reunite Anelka with manager Steve Clarke, who coached the striker at Chelsea when he arrived in 2008.
West Brom will be the sixth Premier League club for the fickle but talented striker, following stints at Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton and Chelsea. He will be the first signing for the Baggies this summer.
While it is unlikely the 34 year old will lock down a full time spot in Clarke’s Starting XI, West Brom’s thin striker pool presents an excellent opportunity for Anelka to make an impact.
Anelka will provide West Brom with cover after losing 17 goal Romelu Lukaku, who returns to Stamford Bridge following his 2012-13 loan spell at Albion.
In addition to the loss of Lukaku, West Brom released 32 year old Marc Antoine-Fortune and is desperately trying to pan Peter Odemwingie off on any club willing to cough up a semi-reasonable transfer fee. That leaves 26 year old Shane Long as the lone scoring threat up top, having nabbed 8 league goals last term.
The Baggies have been linked to a few other strikers this summer, with former West Ham man Carlton Cole, Lille’s Salomon Kalou and Wigan’s Arouna Kone and Franco di Santo.