Anelka jumped at chance


LIVERPOOL, England -- France striker Nicolas Anelka completed a move to Liverpool from Paris St Germain on Monday and said he had jumped at the opportunity to join the UEFA Cup winners.

Anelka, who won the league and F.A. Cup Double with Arsenal during a two-year spell from 1997-99, has joined Liverpool until the end of the season with a view to a permanent transfer.

"I decided I wanted to leave Paris St Germain, and when I knew I had the opportunity to come to Liverpool I could not refuse," the 22-year-old told a news conference.

"When I left Arsenal, I never said I did not like England. My problems were all in my head.

"In your career, you cannot be always at the top and sometimes things do not go as you want. You have to be strong mentally to overcome those things," said the striker, who has a reputation as a moody, but highly talented, player.

Czech forward Milan Baros was also unveiled at the same news conference as Liverpool look to provide support for England striker Michael Owen in the goals department, particularly after the departure of Robbie Fowler to title rivals Leeds United.

Assistant manager Phil Thompson, who is standing in for Gerard Houllier as the French manager recovers from emergency heart surgery, said: "Gerard Houllier rang me on Friday and asked what I thought about signing Nicolas.

"I thought about it for a few seconds and told him I thought it was a great idea.

"Robbie Fowler left a few weeks ago and, although Milan has also joined us, he is a non-EC player and takes our quota up to five. We knew we needed someone else and, when the opportunity came to sign Nicolas, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

"Everybody knows that, when he played at Arsenal, he almost single-handedly won the title for them.

"That shows he can cope with the quality needed to play in the Premiership and, like Milan, we are delighted to have him here."

Baros said: "It was always my ambition to play in England and to achieve that ambition with a club like Liverpool is a dream."

Anelka, who left Arsenal for Real Madrid, has had problems settling in at all three of his previous clubs.

"Some things that happened at Madrid and Paris did not make it easier, but it is something that happens in many careers - not just mine," the striker said.

"Now I hope to recover the level I was playing at earlier. Although this is only a loan, I hope I can make an impression and stay in Liverpool for a long time.

"The premier league seems to be more suited to my qualities because, when I played at Arsenal, I was with players who could give me the ball quickly and let me use my pace.

"Liverpool have some outstanding players and I am particularly excited about the prospect of playing alongside Michael Owen."

After a difficult time at PSG, scoring just two league goals this season following his 218-million franc ($29.61 million) move from Real Madrid, Anelka needs a good run of form to play himself into France's World Cup squad.