Who is Chuks Aneke? The Charlton forward linked with Middlesbrough, Bristol City and Reading
Middlesbrough have been linked with Charlton forward Chuks Aneke – but who is he?
The 27-year-old will be out of contract at The Valley this summer but has been offered a new deal with the Addicks.
Championship clubs Reading, Coventry, QPR and Bristol City have also been credited with interest in the striker.
We take a closer look at the frontman’s situation.
What’s his background?
Born in London, Aneke came through the ranks at Arsenal but made just one senior appearance for the Gunners, amid loan spells at Stevenage, Preston and Crewe.
The striker then moved to Belgian side Zulte Waregem in 2014 but scored just six goals in 50 appearances abroad.
Aneke returned to England in 2016 but was still carrying an injury when he signed for MK Dons in League One.
After the Dons were relegated, Aneke played a key part in the club’s subsequent promotion during the 2018/19 season, scoring 17 league goals in 38 appearances.
That impressive campaign resulted in a move to Charlton, and despite an underwhelming first season at The Valley, when the club was relegated from the Championship, Aneke has impressed in League One.
The 27-year-old scored 15 times in 38 league appearances as the Addicks narrowly missed out on the play-offs this term.
What are his strengths?
At 6 ft 3, Aneke is an imposing figure who also likes to drop deep to receive the ball.
The striker has been effective holding the ball up with his back to goal, when others can run beyond him to create attacking overloads.
Aneke is also potent in the air and won around 50 per cent of his aerial battles during the 2020/21 League One season.
While Akene does prefer to drop short and link up play, he also recorded the joint highest expected goals tally (0.64 per 90 minutes) along with the division’s top scorer – Peterborough’s Jonson Clarke-Harris.
Part of the reason Aneke finished with only 15 league goals compared to Clarke-Harris’ 31 was because the former wasn’t starting every game, with fellow forwards Jayden Stockley and Conor Washington usually picked ahead of him at Charlton.
What has been said about him?
Aneke’s lack of discipline has cost him this season, and the striker was shown nine yellow cards and two reds in the league.
Following a 3-1 win over Lincoln in May, when Aneke came off the bench and was then subbed off, Charlton boss Nigel Adkins said: “I was thinking take him off before he gets sent off. It’s the logical thing to do and he knew it straight away.
“He’s competitive. It was planned that he wasn’t going to be starting the game, because he scores a lot more goals when he comes off the bench when all the opposition are tired – and he can use his strength.
“I’ve been blessed that I’ve had lots of really good strikers I’ve managed in my career, but they are normally starting the games.”
What’s his situation?
Despite suggestions Aneke had turned down a contract offer at Charlton, reports from London have stated that isn’t the case.
According to South London Press, a number of clubs are interested in the striker, who is yet to respond to Charlton’s new terms.
Aneke’s contract at the Valley will expire at the end of June.