The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Chris Bai­ley

AR­SE­NAL may be the club Chuks Aneke calls home but the mid­fielder says Crewe have brought out the best in him.

Born in east Lon­don, Aneke was just a seven-year-old when the Gun­ners in­vited him to join their famed academy in 2001.

Now stand­ing at an im­pos­ing 6ft 3in it has al­ways been easy to pick the 20-year-old out from a crowd – but in and among a throng of fel­low Ar­se­nal hope­fuls, Aneke was in dan­ger of be­com­ing a for­got­ten man.

It was only when he went out on loan to a club with just as much em­pha­sis on youth – if with more mod­est am­bi­tions – that the young Gun­ner started to fire.

Crewe have pro­duced Danny Mur­phy, Neil Len­non, Rob­bie Sav­age and ex-Ar­se­nal star David Platt as just some of the for­mer Pre­mier League play­ers who owe much of their suc­cess to leg­endary for­mer boss Dario Gradi.

Now into his sec­ond sea­son on loan with the Alex, Aneke has be­come a mid­field reg­u­lar – even draw­ing com­par­isons with Manch­ester City pow­er­house Yaya Touré.

Steve Davis may be man­ager at Wenger’s plans are – but he is cer­tain that he can play in the top flight.

“I’ve def­i­nitely got mas­sive con­fi­dence in my own abil­ity. I’ve been at Ar­se­nal for a long time and if they are go­ing to play me, play me, but if they don’t then they don’t – I still be­lieve in my­self,” he added. “I know I can play at the high­est level and for me that is the Pre­mier League.

“I’ve loved my time at Crewe but it’s a bit too early to ask the ques­tion of whether I will stay.You never know what will hap­pen. I’m tak­ing ev­ery game as it hap­pens re­ally as the sum­mer is still a way off, but you can never say never.

“We al­ways thought that we had enough qual­ity in the team to win these games, but I don’t think it was pres­sure hold­ing us back.

“We’ve found a way to per­form to the best of our abil­i­ties as op­posed to un­der­achiev­ing and hope­fully that will con­tinue.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

ALEX THE GREAT: Chuks Aneke fires in a shot for Crewe, and has praised for­mer boss Dario Gradi, in­set, for the club’s youth pol­icy

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