Clarke hails Anelka's two-goal West Brom debut

The 34-year-old striker opened his account for the Baggies in a pre-season friendly, with the manager praising his determination, while Zoltan Gera hopes to land a new deal
Nicolas Anelka scored his first goals for West Brom to prompt manager Steve Clarke to praise his attitude, application and fitness levels.

The 34-year-old has averaged a goal roughly every three games in over 600 appearances at club level and he returned to the Premier League earlier this month to join West Brom on a one-year deal.

Anelka opened his account for the Hawthorns outfit with a double in Monday's 3-0 pre-season win against Puskas FC Academy, with Clarke delighted to have the experienced forward in his ranks.

"I don't have to stand here and talk Nicolas Anelka up as being a player," Clarke told the club's official website.

"Where he's been in the football world and what he's done in the football world tells you that he's a top-quality player and we're just happy to have him in our group this season."

"I never had a doubt about Nicolas because I'd worked with him at Chelsea. I was with Avram Grant when we bought him in the January. So I knew the type of person he was, the type of player he is.

"Since he clearly looks after himself I had no doubts. I've one or two good contacts around the football world and I checked him out when he was at Juventus.

"The fitness statistics and information I got about his fitness was that he was one of the best trainers. He was one of the top performers, in terms of fitness stats, at Juventus. If you can do that at Juventus then you're fit enough for us."

Meanwhile, Zoltan Gera hopes to be offered a new contract at West Brom despite being out injured since January.

The 34-year-old midfielder ruptured his cruciate ligament in a Premier League match against QPR on January 5, but remains confident that he can land a new deal after joining the club on their pre-season tour.

"We are still negotiating but if the club didn't count on me probably I wouldn't be here," Gera told reporters.

"The club obviously wants to see how fit I am but I hope within two weeks I'll have a contract."

Gera returned to the Hawthorns from Fulham in 2011, having left West Brom for Craven Cottage in 2008.