Eto’o will have a key role to play for the Blues, especially after Mourinho elected to not field a striker against Manchester United.
Prior to the game, the Chelsea boss said his team was selected “on ability.”
Eto’o is a proven goalscorer—according to ESPNFC, he has 244 goals to his name—and it is goals Mourinho will want from the Cameroonian.
At 32, it is highly likely Eto’o’s best years are behind him. And to retain sharpness, he will need to be kept fresh.
This spell with Chelsea is his first taste of the rigours of the Premier League and it offers a far different test to his spells in the Spanish, Italian and Russian leagues.
Between Chelsea'a trip to Everton on September 14 and their trip to Norwich City on October 6, the Blues have seven games in various competitions. That is an arduous schedule, especially for a striker who will be charged with the task of keeping Chelsea in the hunt for Premier League and Champions League honours.
Between Chelsea’s clash with Norwich on October 6 and a home game with Cardiff on October 19 is a round of international fixtures. It is in that window that Cameroon will face the first leg of a two-legged World Cup playoff.
If the report in L'Equipe proves to be true, and Eto’o has retired from international football due to a row with coach Volker Finke, Chelsea are the big winners.
It will mean that Eto’o will be spared the long journeys that come with international football, along with the tough training and high-intensity matches.
Club managers are nervous creatures during international breaks, given the pitfalls that can catch out their charges.
With Mourinho clearly not convinced by strikers Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, his trump card until January is Eto’o.
Having his new recruit sit out international football will be one less worry for the Portuguese manager.