The striker situation at Chelsea has become a lot more clear over the past couple days. The addition of Samuel Eto’o didn’t come as a major surprise, but relying on him to fill the void is a risk by Blues manager Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea officially announced the signing of Eto’o after a couple days of speculation pointing toward his arrival at Stamford Bridge. The veteran striker joins the Premier League title contenders from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala:
The 32-year-old has signed a one-year contract and on finalizing the transfer he said: “I am very happy to be here but also anxious because I want to get playing as soon as possible.
“It wasn’t a hard decision. I saw the qualities Chelsea have, and I was very happy with Jose Mourinho before, so when the opportunity came, I was very happy to take it.”
The other news Mourinho recently revealed is that the club’s extended pursuit of Manchester United star Wayne Rooney is over. He told Sky Sports that while they made every effort to land him, in the end it just wasn’t possible this summer:
Asked specifically about Rooney, Mourinho added: “For all parties, it’s finished. One thing is to tell you through other people that you want, you want, you want very much, but at the end of the day…
“I feel everyone has the right to show his life, his future and I respect that.”
Mourinho also said he was pleased with the current group of players on the squad and was done making signings for the current window. So Chelsea supporters shouldn’t expect a late flurry of deals in the final days of the transfer period.
While the Blues have a very solid overall squad, upgrading the strikeforce was a notable task for the returning Chelsea boss this summer.
Eto’o has a strong track record of success, but his days of peak form are very likely a thing of the past. On the flip side, Rooney would have been an ideal fit for Chelsea, especially when you consider they could have weakened a key rival in the process.
Furthermore, the Blues spent so much effort trying to lure the star English international away from United, there wasn’t enough time left to make a serious pursuit of another top striker. So they opted for a more attainable option like Eto’o.
But at age 32 and after three seasons with Anzhi, it’s unknown if he will be able to rediscover any of that former glory in the Premier League. He doesn’t possess the same burst he did with Barca and Inter, and that could be an issue against more talented EPL defenders.
Will Eto’o provide the stability Chelsea needs?
Yes, he’s a proven striker67.7%
No, he’s past his prime32.3%
Total votes: 551
That’s why it’s such a risk to trust Eto’o to jump-start the striking group instead of a player still in his prime seasons like Rooney. If the Cameroon international isn’t able to produce like Mourinho and Co. hope, they are right back to square one.
Fernando Torres and Demba Ba both had their moments last season, but neither displayed the consistency to hold down the starting striker spot. Romelu Lukaku is back from a successful loan stint with West Brom, but he has only been used as a substitute in the early going.
In other words, it’s up to Eto’o to provide the final touch Chelsea have missed recently. He’s done it before for several different clubs, but whether he can do it again is a major question mark.
Chelsea took the risk and all they can do now is hope it works out.