Chelsea Transfer News: Why Samuel Eto'o Move Makes Sense for Blues

Christopher AtkinsContributor IAugust 26, 2013

KHIMKI, RUSSIA - JULY 19: Samuel Eto'o of FC Anzhi Makhachkala in action during the Russian Premier League match between FC Dinamo Moscow and FC Anzhi Makhachkala at the Arena Khimki Stadium on July 19, 2013 in Khimki, Russia.  (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)
Epsilon/Getty Images

Over recent days, there has been much speculation as to possible transfer activity at Stamford Bridge ahead of the September 2 transfer deadline.

The arrival of Willian, Anzhi's Brazilian playmaker, was confirmed by the club's official website on Sunday—pending a medical—but will he be joined by his now former teammate Samuel Eto'o?

Reports suggest that the former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker could well be on his way to West London in the coming days, with Jason Burt of the Telegraph quoting £2 million as a possible transfer fee.

Eto'o is, of course, a player familiar with the workings of Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, having worked under the Portuguese during his time at Inter. With Chelsea in search of another centre-forward option ahead of the new season, it may well be that the cut-price veteran is a good short-term fix at Stamford Bridge.

When it comes to finishing and game intelligence, Eto'o has never been questioned. He has been one of the finest strikers of the past decade and, undoubtedly, will have a wealth of knowledge to share with someone like Romelu Lukaku—regardless of the differences in their playing styles.

No one would expect Eto'o, now 32, to come into the club and break goalscoring records. His level of impact will doubtless have dropped since he was at his prime, and he will surely need some time to adapt to a new division.

What he will do, though, is perhaps offer a more reliable presence in attack than Fernando Torres as well as being another wise head in the dressing room for when the pressure begins to mount later in the season.

The Cameroonian's attitude is not to everybody's liking, having made enemies due to his arrogance at previous clubs. Upon his departure from Barcelona, Spanish newspaper Sport reported (via Total Barca) that the striker was let go primarily due to his poor relationship with the rest of the squad. He has, though, developed with age to become a very rounded centre-forward who could doubtless link well with the Blues' impressive attacking options.

While Eto'o had previously always shown intelligence in his movement and positioning, he was very much a goalscorer first and foremost. In Russia, though, he has often been charged with playing a more creative role and, as his pace lessens with age, it is an adaptation that could lengthen his career at the top level.

With Chelsea having so publicly chased Manchester United's Wayne Rooney this summer, per Sky Sports, it is clear that Mourinho has set his sights on a more rounded centre-forward option to lead the line for his side.

In Spaniard Fernando Torres he has a striker who will play off the shoulder of the last defender, while Lukaku is potentially set to be a leading target man in the coming years. Neither, though, is yet particularly adept at dropping deep and helping to link attacks.

On what will likely be a short-term deal, the capture of Eto'o therefore makes a lot of sense. He will be well aware of Mourinho's expectations and, although he will not come cheaply in terms of wages, will not require much of a transfer fee.

Mourinho will have to look elsewhere with regards to strikers in the longer term, but the addition of Eto'o would afford him at least a season in which to identify the perfect option.

If, during that time, the Cameroon international can pass on some of his knowledge to the developing Lukaku, then it can only be a good thing for Chelsea.

Add in Eto'o's existing understanding with Willian, and it is easy to see why the Blues are so keen to agree a deal. If he can find form at Stamford Bridge, Eto'o could well prove to be an inspired signing even at this stage of his career.

Ultimately, only time will decide whether the move would be a success or not, but there is very little downside to a potential transfer for either party. Eto'o would be a low-risk signing with the potential to improve Chelsea's squad, and, for that reason, it would make complete sense to see him arrive this summer.