February 22nd marks a historical day for the Gunners and one of their best signings in 1997, Nicolas Anelka.
On February 22nd of the year 1997Arsenal
signed Nicolas Anelka fromParis Saint-Germain
with only 17 years of age to see him rise as one of their most exceptional talents in his two and a half year spell with the Gunners.
Following a career in north London, Anelka joinedReal Madrid
for £22.3m with a profit of £500,000, which benefitted Arsenal.
The Frenchman made his first debut for Arsene Wegner’s side in the second half of the 1996-97 season with only four appearances, but this didn’t stop him from establishing himself as a regular for thePremier League
The following season, Anelka made his first starter againstManchester United
to help his team with a 3-2 win after changing his shirt number from 11 to 9.
During his time with Arsenal, the young star had the chance to earn an FA Cup and a Premier League title.
His first season ended with eight goals in his records to later be followed by another 19 goals in the upcoming season making him Arsenal’s top-scorer of the 1998-99 campaign.
Anelka’s final season with Wegner’s side earned him the PFA Young Player of the Year award, but this did not prevent him from parting ways with Arsenal after admitting to be
with life in London.
Anelka, who was nicknamed as
for his non-smiling demeanor, was later replaced with Thierry Henry after deciding to join Real Madrid.