Anelka granted compassionate leave

French striker Nicolas Anelka will miss West Bromwich Albion's game against Everton this weekend after being granted compassionate leave, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

Anelka said he had been left devastated by the news that one of his agents, Eric Manasse had passed away.

"It is with profound sadness that I have learned of the death of Eric Manasse," the player wrote on his Facebook page. "Shocked by this news that has affected his friends and family, Eric will leave a huge hole in our lives."

"I cannot find the words to express my immense sadness and I send my condolences to the Manasse family after his tragic death."

West Brom confirmed that Anelka will not feature at the weekend.

"West Bromwich Albion can confirm that Nicolas Anelka will not be involved in Saturday's game at Everton," read a statement on the club's website.

"The club have excused the striker from club duty on compassionate grounds."

Anelka, 34, joined West Brom in July, after an unsuccessful spell at Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

He spent the second half of last season on loan at Juventus, who won the Italian title.

Anelka has had something of a nomadic career, having appeared for 11 different clubs -- including Arsenal, Real Madrid and Chelsea -- since making his breakthrough with Paris Saint-Germain in 1996.

He made 69 appearances for France but has not played for his country since clashing with national coach Raymond Domenech at half-time of a game against Mexico at the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010™, for which he was given an 18-game ban.