4 August 1999: Nic Anelka sold to Real Madrid

4 August 1999: Nic Anelka transferred to Real Madrid for £23,500,000 – a profit of £23m which it is said, paid for the new training complex that Mr Wenger wanted built.  Also quoted as 2 August in some reports.

Nicolas was sadly one of the players on whom the Arsenal fans turned. He joined for just £500,000 and won the PFA Young Player of the Year in 1998/9.  He was then nicknamed Le Sulk by the Sun, and it was a tragedy that it was taken up by some supporters (although I don’t recall hearing it too often at games). 

He played 72 times for Arsenal, plus 17 times as a sub, and scored 27 goals before going to Real Madrid in 1999 – an astonishing profit.

He won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2000, before going to PSG for £20m and then moved to Liverpool on loan and then to Manchester City where he scored 37 goals in 89 games.

In January 2005 he moved again this time for £7m to  Fenerbahçe with whom he won the league in 2005. In 2006 he joined Bolton for £8m and was their top scorer with 11 goals.  He signed a four year deal in 2007 but in January 2008 went to Chelsea for £15m.   With Chelsea he has played 116 times and scored 47 goals.

Anelka’s final time in football ended in 2015 after playing for Mumbai City. In 2020 a Netflix documentary called Misunderstood was released looking at his life and playing career. His last role in football was as the sporting director of fourth-tier French club Hyeres but he left after three months. We have no news of him since.