Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has promised Nicolas Anelka a central striking role after the Frenchman thumped four goals in a 5-0 thrashing of AC Milan.
Anelka has failed to shine in a variety of attacking roles since joining the Blues in January, but rediscovered his form as Chelsea ended their preseason trip to Russia on a high.
Midfielder Frank Lampard was also on target against the under-strength Italians, but Scolari reserved special praise for Anelka, who could start the season in place of the injured Didier Drogba.
“This game was important for Anelka but more important for us – the fans, the coach and the other players who will have more confidence in him,” said the Brazilian.
“Today was good not because he scored four goals but because he played more free and with more quality than in other games. “He was playing against a big club and to get four goals against Milan is fantastic for his confidence. Anelka today and the last game played more inside the penalty area than before.
“That is where I asked him to play and where I need him, not right and left as before, because we have one striker and that is Anelka.”
Meanwhile, Darren Bent continued his superb pre-season form with another strike as Tottenham beat Borussia Dortmund 3-0.
Bent’s 10th in five games, and further efforts from Giovani dos Santos and Jamie O’Hara, helped Spurs win the Feyenoord Jubileum Tournament.