Crewe Alexandra: New boy Chuks Aneke hopes to see career take off with Railwaymen
CREWE hope to gain Premier League approval for loan signing Chuks Aneke to make his debut against Tranmere Rovers this afternoon (3pm).
The 19-year-old midfielder-cum-forward arrived at Gresty Road from Arsenal yesterday, before a seven-day deadline for loan moves was lifted at midnight.
But the 6ft 3in teenager should have no problem gaining clearance from top-flight chiefs to give the Alex faithful an early glimpse of a player described by Arsene Wenger as being in the Yaya Toure mould.
Aneke, who joins on an initial one-month deal, said: “I knew all about Crewe’s style of football and their youth policy, and I hope I can be an asset to the team.
“I can’t wait to get some of the game time I haven’t really had enough of in my career so far. It will be a learning curve, but hopefully another step in my development.”
Aneke had brief loan spells last season with Stevenage Borough and Preston North End, both under manager Graham Westley.
He was convinced to make the move to South Cheshire after speaking with newly-appointed Arsenal assistant boss Steve Bould, a former defensive partner of Crewe manager Steve Davis in the Stoke City youth team.
“I spoke to Steve Bould before I left and he encouraged me to come to Crewe saying it will be great for me,” said the England youth international.
“Steve was one of my former coaches in the youth set-up at Arsenal and you certainly listen to what advice he has to say.
“Now I’m here I’m looking forward to getting some football under my belt and hopefully help the team to do as well as they can in this division.
“I play in a number of positions and like passing the ball around. Crewe should suit the way I like to play and, of course, if it goes well, I’d like to stay here for longer.”
Eagle-eyed Crewe fans may remember Aneke’s name from the Railwaymen’s run in the FA Youth Cup three years ago.
A Crewe side featuring Harry Davis, Nick Powell and Max Clayton led three times against Arsenal in a third-round tie played at Barnet.
But Aneke broke Alex hearts when he rose highest to head home a corner in the final few minutes of extra-time to send the game to a penalty shoot-out.
Davis missed in sudden death and holders Arsenal went through to the fourth round, where they lost to Ipswich.
“We can still remember what he did to us that day at Barnet,” admitted Steve Davis.
“He’s been brought up at Arsenal to play the right way, so he should fit in here with a similar system. It suits what we want.”
Aneke, who has played at international level for the England under-16s, 17s, 18s and 19s age groups, is not all about “tika taka” football and quaint triangles, however.
Davis added: “He’s a big lad at 6ft 3in and he’s powerful and athletic. He can move forward with the ball and excite fans, and Arsene Wenger sees him as a Yaya Toure-type player.
“He can play in the front four, wide or centrally, or maybe even in the two in midfield.
“With Mathias Pogba out injured it gives us a bit more competition for places. We needed that extra body and I hope he does very well here.”