Scouting Report: Samuel Eto’o

Samuel Eto’o Fils (Estimated Cost: £5m, Market Value: £19m) 32 Years old: Right-footed Striker

Strengths: Eto’o’s most valuable quality is probably his incredible amount of experience, having played for some of the biggest clubs in the world. His overall game is still considered to be top quality. His two best attributes are his clinical finishing and his speed. He is one of the most elusive players to mark in the world. He’s also an incredibly confident dribbler. He’s developed his game from being somewhat of a poacher to a more well-rounded player. His high work rate will make Chelsea supporters very happy.

Weaknesses: You really have to nit-pick to find things he’s not good at. I was a doubter during his time at Barcelona but he doesn’t do much wrong now. He’s not a great passer (but that’s not something you look for in this type of striker) and he doesn’t do well on the wings. His strength is about average – he’s definitely no Lukaku. His defensive abilities aren’t great either (though he often performed them admirably at Inter) and he’s not great when drawn out on the wings. Despite his high work rate, he is a little older and he can get tired from time to time.

Need to Knows:

  • Obviously the big one is that he played one season under Mourinho at Inter as part of (what I call “the greatest steal in football history”) Ibrahimovic deal to Barcelona. Eto’o won the Champions League that season.
  • Mourinho has said before that he tried to bring Eto’o to Chelsea but Barcelona labeled him unavailable and it led to the purchase of Shevchenko instead.
  • Eto’o is a three-time Champions League winner, winning it twice with Barcelona and once with Inter.
  • Eto’o was spotted by Real Madrid at the age of 16 but only ever played 6 games before transferring to Mallorca at the age of 19.
  • Mallorca is also one of Eto’o’s favorite clubs. He said that he would love to end his career there back in 2011.
  • Eto’o was also the youngest participant at the 1998 World Cup. He went on to become Cameroon’s all-time leader in goals scored (55) with 112 caps.
  • Eto’o’s trophy shelf consists of 21 team titles and over 20 individual awards including African Player of the Year 4 times.
  • He has a career club goal rate of .53 (288 goals in 543 games).

Overall Grade: B-. Like a lot of people, I haven’t seen a lot of Eto’o since he moved to Russia. I always preferred Milito to Eto’o or Henry to Eto’o but he earned my respect with his final year at Inter. My biggest concern is that his game focuses on pace and movement, something that deteriorates as you get older. It also bothers me when managers bring in former players into their new teams. On paper, there are a lot of question marks by signing Eto’o.

However, Eto’o is a huge name that was deeply discounted. We don’t have a lot of commitment to him (1 year contract) so he’s not a high risk player. We pretty much know what we’re going to get from him and Mourinho knows exactly what he wants to do with him. The biggest area of frustration will go to those in the Lukaku and Torres camps.

Mourinho didn’t get Rooney, but he’ll be happy at the end of the day.


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