Still Just 28, How Did it End up Like this for Victor Anichebe?

As Sunderland failed to bring in a striker during the summer transfer window, the arrival of Victor Anichebe was almost inevitable and the former Everton front man joins on a year-long deal.

Despite being a striker, the Nigerian is far better known for his physicality and overall play than he is for goal scoring. In fact, he has only managed to exceed five league goals in one campaign which happened to be his last full season on Merseyside before transferring to West Brom in 2013. The 2012/13 season also represented his first without injury since 2008, a period in which Anichebe missed 76 matches primarily due to a reoccurring knee problem. His most notable injury being one caused by Kevin Nolan's horror tackle in 2009 for which the former Newcastle man was taken to court over loss of earnings.

It was revealed shortly after his move to the Hawthorns that he struggled to mentally cope with the copious injuries he suffered, citing depression for his Everton career to fizzle out and his West Brom stint to start slowly. 

During his time at West Brom and particularly towards the end, Anichebe fell out of favour with manager Tony Pulis due to consistent fitness problems. He limped to the end of his contract at the Hawthorns and 91% agreed in a poll that the striker had not earned a new contract.

The one year contract handed to him by David Moyes is an opportunity for the 28 year-old to revive his footballing career. It would seem inevitable that if he fails to impress on Wearside, Anichebe's time as a Premier League footballer will come to an end.

At his very best Anichebe is an imposing presence who creates space, opportunities and encourages ball retention. I remember him  giving Valentin Roberge  a particularly hard time a couple of seasons back.

He is not going to fire in the goals that keep us in the Premier League, but he may prove to be an excellent partner for Jermain Defoe. Perhaps his failure at West Brom, injuries aside, is more to do with how he was utilised and the tactics burdened upon the West Midlands side by the dullest manager in the country. Maybe playing up front with a partner of the stature of Defoe will bring out more in Anichebe than we have seen in the last five years or so.

Those who were worried about the consequences of a Defoe injury will not have their concerns alleviated much by this signing, though. 

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