The decision to sign Samuel Eto’o on a free transfer from Anzhi Makhachkala was viewed with a lot of scepticism. José Mourinho has now said that the striker needs more time in order to regain his sharpness. The striker is yet to score a goal for Chelsea in 323 minutes of action. He may have come on a free transfer, but he is one of the highest earning players in the squad at a salary of £7 million. Speaking to Sky Sports, Mourinho said,
“The player I know, the professional I know…what happened in Russia in the last two-and-a-half years I didn’t know.
“Normally when a top player is one of the top players in Europe and then goes to Anzhi the pressure goes down, the motivation and physical condition and sharpness goes down.
“Now he’s back in top European football and needs a bit of time to find that sharpness.”
The biggest talking point, though, is the one-year contract he signed. So, this was clearly a short-term after failing to get Wayne Rooney. If you’re going for a short-term fix, then why not sign a player in top notch condition?
The injury to Fernando Torres is likely to mean that Eto’o will get more game time in the coming weeks. Of course, he has been looking promising in the matches he has played, but the finishing ability does appear to have diminished. His shot was crucial in the second goal against Steaua Bucharest, but Eto’o at his peak would have scored himself.
The positive thing with Eto’o is his movement, which is far better than what Torres has been doing. Even if he isn’t scoring, he can create chances for others in the team like he did for Ramires in the opening goal against Steaua Bucharest.
Eto’o needs to rediscover the sharpness and fast!