After their lack of choice for a striker last season, Chelsea are spoilt for choice this campaign, but Jose Mourinho has made a mistake in signing and then giving Samuel Eto’o his first Premier League start, as he does not have the physical ability to hold on in the English top flight or the technical ability that he use to have, after playing in Russia for two years.
Firstly, with no disrespect to the Russian Premier League, it is not the same level of football or physicality as in its English equivalent, meaning that the Cameroon international is struggling to adapt to the level of play expected by opposing teams and by his manager, especially considering that, at the age of 32, he is no longer in his prime.
Indeed, in Saturday’s defeat against Everton, he didn't commit to the runs that you wait for from a striker of that calibre and a good part of his play was in front of the opposite penalty area, instead of inside it.
When he did get into the box and made the right movement, he lacked the end product of that cutting edge he use to have when playing for Barcelona or Inter Milan.
In particular, when running on to Ramires’ cross into the box, he connected well with the ball but failed to get any direction on the header, something you would have expected any decent striker to do, let alone the former highest paid player in the world.
Quite apart from these problems in physicality and technical ability, he is certainly not the type of player Chelsea are looking for to build their own brand of successful football, as what Mourinho needs are talented players in their prime who have recent Champions League experience, a profile that certainly does not fit that of Eto’o.
Although he has won the praised European competition with two different clubs, that was several years ago when he was at his best and he has been at a club struggling to do well in the Europa League the past two seasons, not something that will have increased his chances of standing the tests put to him by the likes of Bayern Munich or FC Barcelona.
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