Chuks Aneke: Who is the former Arsenal man once compared to Yaya Toure linked with Sheffield Wednesday switch?
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And one of the names linked with a move to Hillsborough on a free transfer this summer is Chuks Aneke a 27-year-old Charlton Athletic man approaching the end of his contract at The Valley.
But who is Aneke and what would he bring to S6? Let’s take a look.
Who is he?
A once-England youth prospect who was capped at every level from under-16s to under-19s, Aneke is a powerful attacker who has come into his own in recent seasons at Charlton Athletic.
He came through the system at Arsenal, where he was highly thought of by both club and then-boss Arsene Wenger, making his debut in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a League Cup tie against Shrewsbury in September 2011.
Things haven’t quite gone the way he may have liked, but he’ll be a sought-after player in the coming weeks with his Addicks future still unconfirmed.
Where else has he played?
He spent short stints at Stevenage and Preston North End while a starlet at the Emirates before two season-long loan spells at Crewe Alexandra, where he developed a reputation for grabbing vital goals with an ability to arrive in the box at the right time.
He left Arsenal in 2014 after 13 seasons and amid a whirlwind of speculation opted to take on a challenge abroad, to Belgian side Zulte Waregem, the side Joost van Aken announced he was signing for over the weekend.
He impressed, but his two-year spell was interrupted by injury and he scored four in 41 league games.
Aneke signed for MK Dons in League One while still recovering from an ankle injury, recovering to score four in 15 in the 2016/17 and then nine in 31 the season of their relegation to League Two. In the fourth tier he plundered 17 league goals in a coming-of-age campaign.
A move to Charlton followed, where last season he claimed 15 in 38 league goals.
What’s been said about him?
Aneke played deeper for much of his career and is on record comparing his attributes to those of his former Gunners teammate Abou Diaby.
Legendary former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger went further, comparing him to one-time Barcelona and Manchester City man Yaya Toure.
“Chuks is a bit like Yaya Toure – he has body power and good technique,” Wenger said in 2011. “We had Yaya here [on trial at Arsenal] and for me Chuks is a bit similar because he can play behind the striker or in a deeper role as well.“We will have to see where he will develop, it is not excluded that in the future he will play deeper in midfield.”
What’s the Wednesday link?
He’s been a name bouncing around the rumour mill for a little while.
Aneke’s performances at Charlton, particularly in their playoff push last season, seem to have caught the attention of a handful of clubs.
Wednesday forward Jordan Rhodes is likely to leave on a free transfer in the coming weeks and there is interest from the Championship in Josh Windass.
With the club hunting in the free agency and loans market, it may well be the Owls have some replacements to source.