The Cameroon international left the Giuseppe Meazza side for Anzhi Makhachkala in August, and Altobelli, who wore the Inter jersey from 1977 until 1988, feels that Eto’o’s departure has damaged Inter’s chances of success.
The Coppa Italia holders have struggled to find their best form in the opening weeks of the season and currently sit 17th in the Serie A table with four points from five games.
“Eto’o is one of the best players in the world and it is pretty much impossible to adequately replace him,” Altobelli was quoted as saying by Il Corriere dello Sport.
“He was the one who made the difference for Inter and his exit has really hurt the club. They are struggling at the moment and Eto’o’s goals could have helped them through these difficult times.”
Inter will be looking to return to winning ways on Saturday when they take on Catania in Sicily.