CREWE CAN HELP ME TO MAKE THE GRADI
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.”
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