If Chelsea succeed in their bid for Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto’o they’ll have landed one of the most experienced strikers in European football.
Eto’o is the most decorated footballer in African history winning three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues – scoring in both – in his spell with Barcelona.
When he moved to Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan he played a vital role in the Italian club's famous treble season in 2009/2010 when they won the Serie A, Coppa Italia and the Champions League.
Individually Eto’o has won the African player of the year on four occasions, been in the UEFA and FIFA teams of the year twice each, named man-of-the-match in the 2006 Champions League final and picked up the third place in the 2005 Fifa World Player of the Year awards.
Jose Mourinho knows what this man is about almost as well as anyone. During his first spell as Chelsea manager he watched Eto’o torment the Chelsea defence in those tough Champions League nights that Chelsea and Barcelona fought out.
When he came to manage Inter Milan he decided he’d rather have Eto’o in his team than the opposition’s team, so swapped Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Barcelona while also taking £35m from the Catalan giants in the deal.
Eto’o is 32 now, so if Chelsea do sign him it won’t be a long-term answer; he’d probably only be agreeing a one or two year deal. But what they will get is a man that has proven he can score in every country he’s been in and every tournament he has played in.
At his age he won’t be expected to come in and break all the goal scoring records set by Frank Lampard and his fellow African footballer Didier Drogba, but he will have a wealth of experience to share with the younger players in the dressing room – such as Romelu Lukaku.
Eto’o has half a seasons experience playing alongside Chelsea new-boy Willian, so their understanding together will already be something to build upon for Chelsea.
At the moment Chelsea’s chances of signing Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney look to be slipping, and at this stage of the transfer window teams have to act fast if they want to make a signing or two.
Chelsea’s strike force is their obvious weak link with none of their strikers scoring in any of the opening three league fixtures. Mourinho has even chosen to start a different striker in each league game with no success.
Samuel Eto’o would be a low-risk signing and there would likely be very little pressure on him to do wonders, but with his footballing brain and constant knack for goals over his career you wouldn’t bet against him being a success.
His attitude has been questioned before during his career – especially during his time at Barca when their reason for letting him leave was reported to have been due to his poor relationship with the rest of the squad.
But Jose Mourinho has managed him before and is calling on him again in his time of need. So if Mourinho trusts him, then if he does arrive Chelsea fans should expect their manager to get the last burst of class out this prolific and legendary goalscorer.
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