Aneke makes unexpected Belgium move


Former Arsenal midfielder Chuks Aneke is heading to Belgium for the next stage of his development after signing a contract with Zulte-Waregem.

It is a rather unexpected move for Aneke, who had been targeted by a host of Championship clubs following his release by Arsenal last month.

Despite leaving Arsenal with just a cameo appearance in the Carling Cup to his name, Aneke has made tremendous progress over the past couple of years whilst on loan at Crewe Alexandra in League One having previously endured less successful stints at Preston North End and Stevenage.

Aneke could well act as a replacement for Thorgan Hazard at Zulte-Waregem, with the Chelsea loanee having enjoyed two temporary spells with the Belgian club.

Aneke becomes the third youngster who was released by Arsenal this Summer to have already found a new club. Zach Fagan will join Welling United, with Zak Ansah poised to join Charlton Athletic.

Daniel Boateng, Leander Siemann, Alfred Mugabo, Tarum Dawkins and Arinse Uade, who were also let go by the Gunners, are still on the lookout for new clubs.

14 comments

      1. If you can only thrive based on a partnership with a given individual you probably aren’t suited for top tier football. Having said that think you’re doing a disservice by limiting aneke and afobe’s talent in such a way.

        Afobe’s career has obviously been blighted by non-stop injuries so that’s a pretty simple case, though he still has one year remaining on his contract and I hope he rediscovers his qualities. With regard to aneke despite the yaya toure comparisons he is more of a an attacking mid. Not only are we congested in that position but realistically I would say crowley and probably even toral have more to offer in that position especially in keeping our style of play. The latter two are more dynamic and cutting edge though aneke’s vision and shooting (which is unfortunately bit of a redundant quality at arsenal) are probably superior.

        Purely based on how much he’s improved I would’ve actually like to see aneke given a chance in a deeper position, even though it’s not his true position, as sooner or later he’ll be ready to start for a prem team IMO though not quite yet perhaps.

      2. Aneke is more of an attacking midfielder than yaya toure? Yaya scored 20 goals in 35 league games last season, more than our centre forward!!

        This move just sums aneke up for me. He had opportunities afoot, now and in the past and he always took the easy option.

        If you really want to make it in football you have to work hard, take your opportunities, push yourself to the limit and sometimes take a gamble. Unfortunately aneke foes not do any of those things. Wish him well though, he has great ability………but belgium! Really?

      3. Rather than the easy solution or the money grabbing solution, Aneke has chosen the career wise solution. I am sure that he would have earned a lot more at a championship club. However in Belgium he will be able to hone his tactical skills and he will be given time to mature. Look at all the Belgium players who are coming to the EPL. Where do you think they were taught to make the final step?
        A less physical league, but more tactical and more demanding in term of usage of the ball (retention and pass) will make him a better and more rounded player.
        The World Cup has just taught England a lesson in term of keep ball. Most of the youngsters were full of aggression and running, but ultimately they were beaten by two well organised, tactical disciplined teams with midfield players who knew when and where to pass and release the ball.
        Hopefully Aneke will learn a slice of that at his new club. Also he is more likely to play for a premiership club if he impressed in the Belgium league than in League One or even the Championship.

      4. @ atid. IMO yes I think he is more of an advanced player than yaya who despite his attacking qualities and more often than not playing the furthest forward in a midfield trio is more of a box to box, being more than competent defensively. Aneke played as striker half of his time at crewe. He’s obviously much more hard working compared to couple of seasons ago but he’s not someone who you’d trust from a defensive perspective.

      5. Also agree with Valentin. There are only a handful of English based players willing to move abroad. He’s playing at a decent club which if I’m not mistaken (might be wrong as just read it somewhere as a comment) is playing in the Europa league. Not only is he potentially compromising on wages but on lifestyle while the began league has incredible talent, at the very least may well technically superior to the championship. Never been to Belgium but you’d be hard pushed to find a locality with easy access to central london (he had offers from fulham I believe). To each unto there own I guess but I for one applaud his decision and wish him the best.

      6. Well I have coached very recently in belgium and yes the academies are producing decent talent, but the league is so poor, that any kid worth his salt, gets out at a very young age, aneke is going there 4 years too late. Just look at lukaku, vermaelen, vertonghen, mirallas, De bruyne, etc, etc all left as soon as they could.
        As for aneke, let me tell you he is so frustrating to coach, I have many friends that have coached him, he doesn’t listen, he has a poor attitude to training and even crewe, couldn’t pick him every week, cos he just doesn’t fit in. It Is so annoying because he is such a talent with great potential, but needs a bloody rocket up his arse. And thats all I have to say about that.

      7. Yes the Belgium league is weak, however youngsters learn much more tactically and in vision than they would in League 1 or Championship. Discipline and knowing when and how to press are not really valued by lower league coaches. Running hard is more in demand.
        A lot of good youngsters leave the league very early, but I would counteract that for most it is too early. DeBruyne, Lukaku, Benteke would have benefited of one or two extra year in that league in a club with some Europa League or even Champion’s league games.
        The World Cup is showing why Lukaku despite all his physical attributes is not ready for a top premiership club. Not enough intelligence and variety in his runs. That is is why Chelsea are ready to let him go. With an extra year with less pressure but more learning, maybe Chelsea would keep him. Benteke suffers from the same problem. He is very much one dimensional. He quite very powerful, but lacks awareness and his linkup play under pressure is not that great. That is exactly why none of the top clubs are after him.
        Mirallas stayed much longer, and he looks a much more rounded player for it. He also chose his career before money as he chose Everton above Arsenal because he wanted more game time.

        At Crewe, they pretty much wanted to use him every game, but he could not cope. If he was so bad, why did they made him an offer? In the vast majority of the games he played, he was decisive. Scoring, helping others to score.

        Regarding Aneke’s attitude, the noises that I have heard are exactly the opposite. Nice and polite kid. However he is a strong willed boy who will challenge incompetent coaches. There is more to coaching than shouting and swearing at a kid. Sometimes you the coach have to explain your decision and choices. Convincing rather than directing. I would tend to believe that a kid willing to forsake a fat pay check from Fulham for the sake of his career and progression does not believe the hype about him.
        I would not be surprised if Chuck Aneke were to come back to the premiership as a big star in a couple of years.
        As I have always said, strangely enough one thing that could limit his progression is his physique. Aneke lacks dynamism and explosivity.

      8. Atid- bit surprised that anyone with the drive ,and other admirable qualities besides, to take themselves over to coach in another country could have such a low opinion of the football in that country, especially when that country is pound-for-pound destroying our own in talent production at the moment.

        Not impossible to reconcile, but a bit difficult for me. Have only seen glimpses of Beligian teams myself over the years- the standout memory being a very good Liege team with Dante, Fellaini, Witsel, Mbokani, Defour; they made a huge impression on me, and even if I didn’t think ‘ah, this is what Belgian league is always like’, I knew it meant they could produce quality teams- but from them and the stream of good youngsters in the last ten years I thought they were doing something very right over there, and that the league must be a better one than, say, the championship.

        Can’t see how going to another country at 20 is the easy or unambitious option. Likewise I’m pretty sure it was him who pushed for the second Crewe loan even though it probably guaranteed the end of his Arsenal spell and even though most youngsters in that position tend to stick around at that point, hoping for the best, until the writing’s on the wall come January and they leave . Again that strikes me as the actions of an independent ambitious person.

        Anyway, we’ll all see this year what’s what. My bet would be if he can manage 20-25 appearances he’ll get 5 or 6 goals and some assists, and then better again the following year.

  1. Wow. Good luck Chuk(s).

    An unusual move but it could be perfect for him. Stupidly encouraged I am by any Brit youngsters being bold enough to make a move like this. Another positive to add to my disappointment it didn’t work out at Arsenal.

    Have to echo what last poster said,though. He and Afobe had that brilliant undertsanding, and then the club seemed to make zero effort to explore how much they could add to each other’s games at the last level before seniors. Oh well.

  2. I nearly fell off my chair reading atid’s comments. They were myopic and riven with a base form of jealousy. If you want to know how Steve Davis regarded Chuk’s contribution at Crewe just give him a call. Not only that, read the comments of Crewe fans who watched him week in/week out on their forum. It would only highlight the lack of foresight in your statement. He was so trusted at Gresty road that he not only played the no.10 role, that he also played as the lone striker when Pogba was injured. Regarding the move, it is the best thing any young player from the UK could make. He will get minutes on the pitch and further tactical and technical development. Most British players do not want to leave their small mental islands and take on new football philosophies, languages and comfort zones.Zulte play technical, progressive football and he will get 100 games under his belt over the next three years and then be ready to move to the Bundesliga/Premiership/La Liga

    Let’s take a look in five years time at the development of Aneke who left the UK and a player like Sanchez Watt who is currently playing for Colchester. I can assure you we will see a different trajectory.

  3. atid your a myopic dick head. Funny when every foriegn youth player goes back to Europe its always a good move. They never go championship. If its good enough for them then its good enough for Aneke.
    As for easy option, loans at Stevenage Preston and Crewe illustrate you know fuck all about football or easy options. Take your mates dick out of your mouth you moron. As for attitude suck on his last coaches comments Steve

    Crewe manager on Aneke “I have never known a player work as hard as him. Even on Christmas he was asking to do extra work on his finishing.

  4. Chris Willock has announced on his twitter account that he has signed for Arsenal.
    No move to rejoin Big Brother at Old Trafford.
    Maybe this is the end of the academy haemorrhagic drain.

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