Samuel Eto’o to Chelsea: Making sense of the transfer saga and its repercussions

Hannover 96 v FC Anji Makhachkala - UEFA Europa League Round of 32

Samuel Eto’o hasn’t lost much of his abilities with age

Chelsea FC need a quality striker to lead their line. Anzhi Makhachkala has transfer listed their entire team after some financial problems. Samuel Eto’o to Chelsea makes sense!

This is the sort of thinking that seemed to be behind the initial articles that claimed Chelsea were interested in the Cameroonian international. However it may not be as simple as it looks with this particular transfer saga.

In the past two weeks, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was confirmed as a transfer target for the London club. With Rooney himself seemingly discontent and wanting a transfer, Chelsea went on to lodge an official bid for the striker. However, with United rejecting two of Chelsea’s bids, the blues seem to have turned to a different target.

In Samuel Eto’o they have a very serviceable striker and a proven goalscorer on their radar who is keen to link up once more with former manager Jose Mourinho according to a recent interview in the Mail:

“There is only one Jose Mourinho. I have played under a lot of great coaches – but there is no other character in the game like Jose. He is one of the best coaches in the world – and we had a lot of success together at Inter Milan.

“I would like to have the chance to play under him again – because it is never boring when Jose is around. Of course Chelsea are a great team – and when we have all the offers on the table then I will discuss with my agent and see what my next step is.”

With the transfer fee rumoured to be in the region of €8mn, it could make a lot of sense for Chelsea to swoop in for the Cameroonian.

Samuel Eto’o, at 32 years of age, has lost some of his explosive pace that helped him and Mourinho at Inter and Barcelona, but he is still quick enough to cause problems to any defence.

Age has not managed to touch his any of his other abilities though, and he remains a quality striker. With his vast experience in Europe, he is a clinical finisher, and a natural goalscorer; a combination that Chelsea seemed to lack sorely last season.

Eto’o has shown he can still put the ball in the back of the net very regularly having already bagged two goals in the Russian league with just 11 shots this season.

 

Mourinho has also said that Chelsea lack a striker that can play in lesser spaces when playing against defences that drop deep and cramp the strikers for room; which was one of the reasons Rooney was his first target. Eto’o has the ability to hold up the ball enough to link-up with the midfielders to create chances and also to maneuver in tight spaces to get a shot out.

A move to Chelsea will see him split minutes with Torres, Lukaku and Ba, but he remains a striker prolific enough to hold his own easily against that selection.

With Mourinho normally opting to play a lone striker to lead the attack, Chelsea would seemingly look to offload one of their other strikers, which would probably be Demba Ba; not just for squad purposes but for financial ones too.

Anzhi Makhachkala paid Eto’o silly money when he left Inter and although he would be willing to take a pay cut in order to play in the EPL, it’s not clear just how much he would be willing to drop his wage demands by. Even at £200,000 a week , he would still cost Chelsea just over 10 million a year against FFP and that is not including the transfer fees.

Chelsea of course, are not a club bothered by money, but UEFA is taking the FFP very seriously which means Chelsea will not want to get on the wrong side of the list.

Samuel Eto’o is a class player as always, and his finishing ability, compounded with the fact that Mourinho knows how to get the best out of him seems to be on paper a smart move by Chelsea.

Whether or not Eto’o remains the difference maker that he used to be  though remains a matter of debate. If Chelsea decide they can afford his wages, Eto’o could definitely become an integral part of the Blues’ campaign to bring the EPL title back to the Bridge.

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