Leighton Baines hails impact of Samuel Eto’o at Everton

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Everton defender Leighton Baines has hailed the impact that 33-year-old Samuel Eto’o, who moved to the club last month after his departure from Chelsea, has had on the club since his arrival.

Eto’o signed a two-year deal with Everton despite interest from other clubs including Liverpool and Ajax, though Liverpool’s interest cooled after their signing of Mario Balotelli.

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The Cameroonian scored on his Toffees debut against Chelsea last weekend, but was unable to prevent his new side from coming off worse in an enthralling contest that eventually finished 6-3.

Quoted on Sky Sports, Baines said of Eto’o, “From his first training session he looked sharp.

“I know it sounds stupid but even the way he passes the ball is done properly. He moves in the right way.

“It sounds like small things but he just looks a good footballer and he can’t half finish as well.

“He’ll always have that goal-scoring instinct. His movement will always be good.

“We’ve seen bits of it so far in training and then against Chelsea that he can make an impact.”

Indeed, Eto’o has played for the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea in an illustrious career that has seen him score 304 goals in 609 games.

Though his most prolific days are probably behind him, the player is still capable of scoring goals, as was demonstrated when he scored a hat-trick in Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over  Manchester United last season.

Toffees manager Roberto Martinez also heaped praise on the veteran, saying that Eto’o’s immediate good form is good for his side.

“That’s a real bonus for us to see Samuel already in such a good moment of form and making such a good introduction into his Everton career,” said the Spaniard.

“He’s fitted into the dressing room really well so I am really happy to see him have that big impact and we have to work extremely hard to get him up to speed so he can play 90 minutes in every game.

“I thought he played with real experience, real know-how and you could see that every time he got involved in the action there was real meaning behind it.”

However, despite the positive words, Eto’o did leave Chelsea under a cloud after Jose Mourinho joked about his age amid rumours that the player is older than he says he is.

Eto’o denied these rumours and has since said that he has no problem with his former manager. 

Given that his new club also signed Romelu Lukaku in a £28m deal from Chelsea, the pair will do their best to develop a productive attacking partnership if Martinez chooses to the place both of them in the starting eleven.

Follow me on Twitter: @howardharry 

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Leighton Baines
Premier League

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