It is no secret that Anzhi Makhachkala have encountered money troubles this summer and as a result have been forced to transfer list their entire squad. Among the listed players is Captain Samuel Eto’o formerly of Barcelona & Inter Milan among others. At 32, Eto’o is still an extremely valuable player and it would be no surprise if the offers start flooding in for the Cameroon international. A reunion between Eto’o and Jose Mourinho would benefit both the player and team, whilst giving Eto’o a much-needed return to top flight European football.
Following back-to-back Champions League glory at Barcelona and Inter Milan, Eto’o decided to move to Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala. At the time he was only 30, and still had the potential for success at the very top. However, it seems the allure of money from the Russian side proved all too much and the Cameroonian joined an ambitious team with stars such as Diarra, Zhirkov and Christopher Samba. Now though his time in Russia seems to be at an end after 36 goals and 14 assists in 71 games.
Chelsea have made no secret of their desire to sign a striker this summer. Jose Mourinho has stated that it is their only position that needs to be strengthened now and Wayne Rooney is the name on the fans lips. However, although tempting Rooney may be easy Manchester United will not want to sell to a direct rival and most people’s favourites for the title this season. Eto’o seems a much more viable option and he is a playe that has enjoyed success under Mourinho before.
The possible signing of Rooney will without doubt be harmful to the potential of a star striker in waiting; Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku had a fantastic season on loan at West Brom last season and it looked as if he would get his chance under Mourinho. Torres has never fulfilled his price tag and Demba Ba lacks a certain star quality. The loss of Drogba is huge for Chelsea and Lukaku could act as a direct replacement. If Rooney were to sign he would want assurances of game time and this could hamper Lukaku’s progression. If Eto’o were signed it would do the complete opposite. Eto’o could be played in big matches and Chelsea would rely on his experience. However, at 32 he will not be expected to play 90 minutes of every game and Lukaku will still play a large number of games. Once Eto’o’s time at Stamford Bridge is up Lukaku would have 2-3 years Premier League experience and will be ready to lead the line for the West London side.
Eto’o had been a target for Chelsea in the past, but with Mourinho now at the helm such a move seems a real possibility. Mourinho knows the player well and would fit in to the team well when needed. Eto’o will need to take a pay cut if he is to make the move as he currently resides as the highest paid player in world football.
For those who haven’t been able to keep up with Eto’o’s career in Russia, take a look at the video below which shows some of his best bits from last season.