Chelsea Bid Farewell to Anelka

  • Last Updated: January 3 2012, 13:07 GMT

Chelsea have offered their best wishes to Nicolas Anelka after confirming that the Frenchman has left the club to start a new adventure in Asia.

Nicolas Anelka: Heads to Shanghai

With the winter transfer window having swung open on New Year's Day, Anelka officially departed Stamford Bridge for Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.

The 32-year-old handed in a transfer request at the start of December, with first-team opportunities proving to be thin on the ground.

His wish was granted and a deal with Shanghai was struck later in the month.

Anelka heads for pastures new after four years in West London, during which time he made 184 appearances and scored 59 goals.

He was snapped up by Avram Grant from Bolton in 2008, becoming the Israeli's first signing as Chelsea boss.

"Chelsea Football Club would like to express our thanks and best wishes to Nicolas Anelka who today leaves us to join Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua," read a statement released on the Blues' official website.

"As well as finishing as the club's top scorer in two of his three full seasons at the club, the Frenchman departs Stamford Bridge having won the Barclays Premier League as well as two FA Cups."

Anelka was also involved in the 2008 UEFA Champions League final, but missed the decisive spot-kick as Chelsea were beaten by Premier League rivals Manchester United in a penalty shoot-out.