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Déjà vu: Boss of Anichebe’s new Chinese club calls for patience on player's arrival in Beijing

Released by Sunderland, Victor Anichebe has been snapped up by Beijing Enterprises. His unveiling there today smacks of his arrival at the Stadium of Light and his move to China is little surprise.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Former Sunderland striker Victor Anichebe has been snapped up by Beijing Enterprises. And in shades of his arrival at the Stadium of Light last year, the Chinese League One side have warned fans not to expect too much from the 29-year-old until he gets up to fitness.

Announcing his arrival, manager of the second-tier outfit, Hongbo Gao, suggested that six weeks since he played a first team fixture, Anichebe will need time to get in shape to play for his new team:

We are delighted with the signing of Victor who played in the Premier League. It's a positive development for our whole club.

Victor hasn't trained on the pitch since the Premier League season ended so it may take him time to integrate into our team. We have to be patient with him.

The big frontman played in eighteen games for Sunderland last season scoring three goals. Signed by David Moyes as a free agent in early September after the summer transfer window had shut, Anichebe took two months to reach sufficient fitness to start a game. That was the Black Cats' first win of the campaign against Bournemouth on Bonfire Night.

AFC Bournemouth v Sunderland - Premier League
Anichebe celebrating Sunderland's first goal at Bournemouth
Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images

And Moyes had warned Sunderland fans during that two month quest for fitness not to expect much from the former Everton and West Brom man until he reached the level of sharpness required for the Premier League, suggesting the player would have to get his body and mind right:

I would like to get back to the Victor I know who at times can be unplayable but first he has to get himself into a condition to do that.

Anichebe had a huge impact on his introduction to the Sunderland side helping the team which had not managed a victory in its first ten league games of the season to record four wins in seven after he got himself fit.

But as with every other season in Anichebe's career, that promise simply wasn't sustainable and a run of hamstring and knee injuries restricted his appearances from New Years Eve onwards.

On his eagerly awaited return to the Sunderland first team in April, as supporters prayed for a spark to ignite a miracle survival run, Anichebe was a shadow of the player he had appeared to be.

Jaded, patently unfit and not a little disinterested, Big Vic was largely ineffectual before disappearing again and being released at the end of the season.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League
Fading - Victor Anichebe in April
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

It's little surprise to hear Anichebe has sailed off to China. In truth, rumours had abounded back as far as January that he had put word about that he fancied a hurrah in the Far Eastern new-money football world.

The loyalty towards David Moyes that he had boasted of when he joined Sunderland had quickly evaporated and in truth Anichebe has always managed to make a decent living from his rare appearances and even rarer goal-scoring exploits.

It would be little surprise if we never hear from Victor Anichebe again and his career quietly peters out over in China. But for that few weeks late last year just for a fleeting period, Big Vic had us all believing he was finally going reach his potential and make something of himself to save Sunderland.

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