It was the Plan B. Jose Mourinho’s recovery. And it had no chance of happening even as we entered the last week of the transfer window. But things changed. Rooney was never for sale, but the realisation he would not be enticed dawned. Chelsea needed to be rescued. Anzhi announced a fire-sale and Samuel Eto’o, the man who was merely second best, was to come in. No hope, just disappointment according to many Chelsea fans. Here I outline why Eto’o may just be the man to set Chelsea alight this season…
1. He knows Mourinho
With the move so late into the window, the season had already begun. Any new striker coming in would not have a pre-season to accustom themselves to Chelsea or the Mourinho way. Rooney may have acclimatised himself well to the demands of the Premier League, but the transition stages to learn from Mourinho’s method would have needed time. Time that was non-existent. Chelsea needed a quick fix. It is refreshing to see a player come in who instantly can hit it off due to previous connections.
But whilst that is refreshing, it is absolutely endearing to see the mutual love for one another. Where Mourinho complimented him on being a hard worker, so Eto’o returned the favour by stating he was one of the best.
There is no question: the two get along. Management is so difficult to get right in that you need a bond with your players and especially with the fact the season had already started, there was no time to forge a bond. There had to be a pre-existing bond and Eto’o fits the bill perfectly.
2. He’s a hard worker
Success is not achieved without hard work. Eto’o insists that what drives him is the insatiable desire to be No. 1. Whilst he may no longer be so, his appetite for the game remains the same. Being crowned African Player Of The Year four times is no mean feat and by no means down to luck.
All-time top scorer for RCD Mallorca and Cameroon is a remarkable statistic and his passion for the game has also made him African Cup Of Nations top-scorer.
A hard-working player is exactly the profile Mourinho demands. Team affairs must be prioritised over personal desires. Eto’o most certainly seems passionate for the club he plays for, and Mourinho will certainly utilise this to great effect.
Torres has often looked uninterested in his time at Chelsea thus far. Even if it was a good attack, he seldom would be useful in the box, often seen sorting his hair out pointlessly on the wing. Expect a tireless work ethic from Eto’o.
3. He is a proven goalscorer and winner
Eto’o record is quite phenomenal. 55 goals in 112 Cameroon appearances demonstrates remarkable consistency, and whilst he has been at a few clubs, he effortlessly fits in and scores the goals. 69 in 165 matches at Mallorca, a jaw-dropping 129 in 201 Barcelona matches, followed by 53 in 101 at Inter Milan and 36 in 71 Anzhi matches.
Eto’o, though 32, is still rated at £20 million so Chelsea have done some good business here.
He may have aged but those statistics suggest he has a born knowledge of where to find the goals. And where Torres can be predictable unpredictable, expect Eto’o to restore that level of calm and consistency Chelsea need their front man to have.