Chelsea has recently announced the signing of Anzi Makhachkala Striker Samuel Eto’o on a one year contract. Given that he is now 32 years of age couldn’t Chelsea have extended Drogba’s contract who was then 33 years of age and who was one of the best strikers in the history of Chelsea Football Club? The question is will Eto’o solve Chelsea’s striker crisis? Chelsea currently has Fernando Torres and Demba Ba and also Lukaku (loaned to Everton FC). Demba Ba didn’t quite settle at Chelsea with scoring only twice in his 14 appearances for the Club, unlike at his time at Newcastle, scoring 13 goals in 20 games. The much criticized Fernando Torres was Chelsea’s highest goal scorer last season, netting 22 times in all competitions whereas Lukaku scored 17 Premier League goals on his loan spell at West Brom.
Taking the stats into consideration, Lukaku can be undoubtedly judged as the best striker of Chelsea last season in comparison with Ba and Torres. Lukaku has the highest goals scored, a high shot accuracy and involved in 36 goal scoring opportunities. Well, was it right for Chelsea to loan him out to Everton? I think that would be the biggest mistake Chelsea did. Running behind world class strikers Chelsea had failed to recognize the talent in Daniel Sturridge and now they are doing the same with Lukaku.
Now, Is it Eto’o what Chelsea need? First and foremost it depends on what kind of striker the manager wants. What does he expect from a striker? Is it only scoring goals or to contribute defensively in addition to goals or to provide an extra depth in the team’s attacking line-up and so on.
Let us speak statistics now for a while. Eto’o, in the last five seasons has played only once as the main Central Striker which was in 2010-11 and he netted an impressive 34 goals in all competitions. Whereas in the previous season (2009/10) Eto’o managed to score only 15 goals in 42 matches where Milito was the main central striker for Inter Milan and took credit for the majority of the goals. Again moving on to Anzi Makhachkala Eto’o has never played in a Central Striker position where he was often found playing behind the huge Lacina Traore. Eto’o was no more ‘that fox in that box’, that lethal striker. His positional switch made him more of a wing man often playing wide and hardly threatening the goal keeper.
So Eto’o has played only one season out of five as a main central striker and he proved that he can be a goal keeper’s nightmare, but that was back when he was 29. The striker is now 32 and his pace is to be doubted. He is in the declining phase of his career and it will be difficult for Eto’o to cope up in the Barclays Premier League, which is one of the most physically tested leagues in the world. We can see clearly in Fernando Torres how the decline in pace affects the performance of the striker. It will be interesting to see how Eto’o will shape Chelsea’s attacking line-up in the coming season. And after all its Jose Mourinho, no one knows what he has in his mind, not even Rui Faria !!