It's too early to tell if Anelka's worth the money, says Shanghai Shenhua boss Tigana

The former Chelsea striker netted on his Chinese Super League debut but was kept relatively quiet as his side's midfielders struggled to create chances for him
Shanghai Shenhua boss Jean Tigana says it's too early to say whether new big-money signing Nicolas Anelka is worth the cash the club splashed out for him after he marked his debut with a goal.

Anelka, who is rumoured to be earning €230,000 a week at Shenhua, netted on his debut in Friday's 3-2 loss to Beijing Guoan in the Chinese Super League.

The Frenchman pounced after strike partner Joel Griffiths' effort was saved to slide the ball home on 66 minutes to make it 2-2.

Earlier, Anelka had hit the crossbar with the free-kick, however he had limited supply and, as a result, limited influence on the game.

Opposition coach Jaime Pacheco admitted he was impressed by Anelka, but the former Chelsea striker had little service to work with as Shenhua struggled in midfield, which Tigana said was a problem which needed to be worked on.

"I think it's still too soon to tell whether or not Anelka is worth the money," Tigana told reporters after the game. "He's new and had trainings with the team far from engouh."

He added: "In my opinion, the most urgent task for my team is to make progress in the midfield."
Meanwhile, Pacheco said Guoan's Darko Matic did a great job blanketing the Frenchman who had his moments.

"Anelka is a great player. I have to admit that he's made a very impressive debut," Pacheco said.

"But someone else did an even better job in this game - Darko Matic, who held the Frenchman back from turning a good job to an amazing job."

Pacheco added: "The signing of Anelka is a very good move made by Shanghai Shenhua. With players like Anelka coming into China, the local players could be pushed to leap forward."

Meanwhile, ex-Arsenal pair Patrick Vieira and Martin Keown were at the stadium for the game, with the former meeting with Anelka in the dressing room after the game.

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