The Nicolas Anelka documentary, Anelka: Misunderstood, has recently been released on Netflix and in it the former Liverpool striker reveals that he never wanted to leave the Reds after his loan spell.
“I waited but nothing happened. Liverpool fans think I didn’t want to stay. They need to know that wasn’t the case. I really wanted to stay. And that’s why that episode was tragic for me because it’s a club where I really could have done great things,” Anelka said.
Anelka joined Liverpool on loan from PSG in December 2001 and the striker went on to score 5 goals in 22 appearances. When the season concluded many thought the deal would become permanent but the Liverpool manager at that time, Gérard Houllier, decided against it because Anelka’s brothers were trying to sell him to other clubs, as also revealed in the documentary.
Liverpool went on to sign El Hadji Diouf and that did not work out quite as well as many hoped. One has to wonder what could have been if Anelka had stayed on at Liverpool. He may have had some issues off the field but there is not doubting that he was a highly talented player on it.