Samuel Eto'o is still is one of the top marksmen in European football.
The prolific scorer from Cameroon might have lost a few yards of pace, but his ability to find the back of the net still remains. Class, as they say, is permanent.
In the absence of a scorer who can find the net regularly, Chelsea have indeed acquired the perfect player. More importantly, they now have a mentor for the talented Romelu Lukaku.
Samuel Eto’o is not just about goals. His presence in itself is a huge boost for any team looking for reinforcement in the final third of the pitch – and this is exactly what Chelsea and Jose Mourinho need.
Forget about his time at super clubs like Barcelona and Inter Milan or maybe even his brief stay at Real Madrid.
His performances for Real Mallorca, a club currently in the second division of Spanish football, were sensational too, which made Barcelona take notice and vie for his signature.
Agreed, the Samuel Eto’o of 2013 isn’t the Samuel Eto’o of the first decade of the 21st century, but as they say, one gradually gains experience as he loses youth; Eto’o is perhaps the epitome of that.
His ability to hold the ball and use his strength and intelligence to create space in the final third of the pitch, near or inside the penalty box is second to none and that is exactly the space needed by the likes of Oscar, De Bruyne, Schurrle, Hazard, et al.
Samuel’s inclusion also means one more thing, and this adds value, Jose Mourinho has a trusted lieutenant, who follows his judgment and will not create a ruckus if first team chances are far and few between. He knows that at his age, he will not be able to shake off the fatigue of almost two matches every 10 days added to the extensive travelling
His trophies and past records already make him a revered member of the squad whose average age is about 27 years, which of course includes veterans like Lampard, Terry, Cech and Schwarzer. The youngsters will always look up to him to learn, both on and off the pitch.
The most important aspect of the transfer though is that Samuel Eto’o is a winner. He has won the treble two times consecutively and also the AFCON and Olympic Gold a decade back.
His mentality and psyche is that of a professional who goes out every time to win. In his peak, he averaged about 29 goals each year, even with injuries. Given that Chelsea have not had a striker who could score regularly since the departure of Didier Drogba, this is key. Even at Anzhi he scored 34 goals, despite being past his prime.
Finally, the fact that Eto’o once played as the left back (for Inter Milan) in a critical match, at the behest of Jose Mourinho emphasises that the London side has got a perfect team man who will not only score but also defend with equal aplomb.
It’s time for defences across England and Europe to wake up and smell the coffee. Samuel Eto’o is back, with the a midfield which will send a chill down the spine.
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