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West Ham assistant hopes to beat QPR in race for ex-Chelsea striker

07:30 21 December 2012

Nicolas Anelka during his time at Chelsea. Photo: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

Nicolas Anelka during his time at Chelsea. Photo: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald hopes Sam Allardyce’s good relationship with Nicolas Anelka can persuade the Frenchman to join the Hammers in January.

33-year-old Anelka has been strongly linked with a return to the Premier League in recent weeks amid speculation that he could end his stay in China with Shanghai Shenhua.

Anelka previously played under Hammers boss Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers, where he hit 23 goals in 61 games before joining his fifth Premier League club Chelsea in January 2008.

With Liverpool loanee Andy Carroll facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, the injury-hit Hammers now look set to battle QPR for Anelka’s signature when the transfer window opens next month.

“We are looking for good players and looking for goalscorers and he is certainly a good player and a goalscorer,” said McDonald

“It is nice to be associated with players who are class. He is maybe getting on a little bit but he is still a class player and to be associated with him is fantastic. Whether anything comes about remains to be seen.”

He continued: “He had a fantastic relationship with Sam and Sam tells us about his stats, especially when you have the ball. It is absolutely frightening.

“He works very hard when you have got the ball. Ok he might rest [sometimes] but we have other players that could hunt and win the ball back and then give him the ball in the forward positions, and that’s why he has been a top striker.”

Anelka has gained a reputation for sulking since his arrival in England with Arsenal back in 1997 but McDonald believes Allardyce knows how to get the best out of him

“I think Sam got the best out of him at Bolton. He can keep on sulking so long as he keeps on playing well.”

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