Anelka was signed to provide the impetus to drive Liverpool on to their first title since 1990 but when they only finished second, behind Manchester United, Houllier turned down an option to sign his countryman, Anelka instead joining newly promoted Manchester City the following season.
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'I played my best football at Liverpool because I played in my best position there,' said Anelka.
'There was Michael Owen, who is a natural goalscorer, as well as Emile Heskey, who sets up lots of things for you.
'Owen was the main scorer and you knew he was going to score no matter what. He allowed me to play my best."
Anelka retains a record in his nomadic career of around a goal every other game, the mark of a predatory marksman, but the Chelsea forward believes that goals are not everything in his game and that an out and out striker he is not.
'I played as a centre forward with Arsenal and scored lots of goals so everybody thinks that's my best position, but I don't,' he said.
'For me, football's not about scoring goals. I play because I want to enjoy myself on the pitch. If I have a chance then great, but my main aim is to play well.
'That's where I differ from real strikers. If I went through an entire game and scored in the 85th minute, I wouldn't be happy.'