Jose Mourinho believes Samuel Eto'o has become a lesser player after spending two years playing in Russia for economic reasons.
The Chelsea manager admitted the Cameroonian was nowhere near the level he once was before deciding to move to Anzhi Makhachkala to become the world's best paid player.
When the Dagestan-based club decided to offload some of its more expensive stars in a down-scaling of investment, Mourinho moved for the striker he won an historic treble with while in charge at Inter Milan.
The former Real Madrid boss admitted Eto'o would not be as good as the player he was at San Siro and feels not playing at the top of the game for the past two years was the cause of this.
However, this does not mean Mourinho believes Eto'o is not good enough to succeed at Chelsea, he insisted that the 32-year-old was still at a level where he can make a difference.
"Anzhi? We all know that was for economic reasons," he is quoted as saying by Le10Sport.
"When you spend more than ten years at the top of European football, then you go for completely different and unknown challenge with Anzhi, we all know that it is for economic reasons.
"He is no longer the player he was at Barcelona or Inter. I knew he would not be at this level, but for me he is still a great player - when Samuel Eto'o has the ball at his feet, you remember quickly."
Eto'o has failed to really impose himself in the Chelsea starting XI as yet and Mourinho will be hoping his new striker comes good soon, as his other options, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, have both failed to produce consistently for some time now.