Samuel Eto'o was hours away from Arsenal move

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Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o has revealed that he was "hours away" from joining Arsenal back in 2000 – but instead signed for Real Mallorca after a meeting with Luis Aragones.

The Cameroon international joined Mallorca after failing to cement a first-team place at first club Real Madrid – but would eventually go on to become a star at Barcelona and Inter Milan, winning the Champions League and league titles with both clubs.

"I met Luis at a crucial moment in my life where I had to take the right direction - and thanks to him I did," he told The Sun. "I was about to sign that very afternoon at Arsenal and maybe I would have never been the player I am today. Luis picked me, then I ended up joining Barcelona.

"That decision changed everything."

From Inter, Eto'o moved to Russia Premier League outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, who made him the highest paid footballer in the world.

But the 32-year-old is now ready to play Premier League football for the first time in his career after moving to Chelsea to work under former Inter boss Jose Mourinho.

Eto'o is expected to make his Blues debut at Goodison Park against Everton later today.

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