Arsenal Transfer News: Samuel Eto'o Won't Solve Gunners Striker Woes

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Arsenal Transfer News: Samuel Eto'o Won't Solve Gunners Striker Woes
Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

Samuel Eto'o will be a free agent this summer following his 2013-14 campaign with Chelsea, and the striker reportedly has his mind set on a move to Arsenal.

The Gunners are in need of some competition for current starter Olivier Giroud and will be looking at a number of forwards during the upcoming transfer window, but Eto'o will not be the answer to their striker conundrum.

The Mirror's John Cross claims Eto'o is looking at Arsenal as the perfect situation to show Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho that he was wrong to doubt the Cameroon forward:

Samuel Eto'o wants to join Arsenal this summer - to prove Jose Mourinho wrong.

Eto’o’s representatives have made overtures to Arsenal to alert them about the Cameroon striker’s availability as a free agent. They have made it clear that Eto’o wants to go to the Emirates and that is his number one priority.

Arsenal are keen to strengthen their strike force and are close to a deal for Real Madrid starlet Alvaro Morata but the Spanish giants are insisting on a buy-back clause.

But Arsenal will need more than one striker and Eto’o, 33, could be an option after he was left enraged by Mourinho’s comments earlier in the season when he questioned his age in damning remarks about his strikers.

The 33-year-old joined Chelsea last season and had a somewhat limited impact for the Blues, scoring 12 goals in 30 appearances, per WhoScored.com.

While those numbers certainly aren't bad, it's important to remember Chelsea's army of highly skilled midfielders feed strikers with numerous chances per match—something Eto'o didn't always take advantage of.

Playing with Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar and company, Eto'o simply didn't have the type of impact fans were hoping for. There's a reason the player won't be plying his trade at Stamford Bridge next season—Chelsea feel like they can do better.

A mercurial talent in his prime, Eto'o did most of his damage on the pitch, using his incredible athleticism to put himself in position. At Internazionale and Barcelona, Eto'o didn't need his teammates to score—he'd use brute force to take care of that himself.

The 33-year-old no longer has that kind of athleticism, and while he's still a useful player, he's no longer world class.

He's still a big name, however, and he won't be joining Arsenal to become part of that team's strike force. He wants to lead, and to show everyone that Chelsea made a mistake in letting him go.

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Olivier Giroud came on strong for the Gunners late last season, scoring five goals and adding two assists in his final eight appearances, via WhoScored.

One of the reasons for his success was the lack of a clear threat to his position as the starting striker, as the Frenchman didn't have to constantly look over his shoulder, looking for the guy who might replace him.

Giroud is a useful player, but he's no world-class striker, and Arsenal could look for improvements at the position this summer. Bringing in a player who doesn't present a significant upgrade on Giroud would be a mistake, however, as it could only hurt the player's confidence once more.

Via Gianlucadimarzio.com's David Amoyal, Arsenal's competition for his signature doesn't exactly inspire much confidence in the player's ability:

Piers Morgan also isn't too keen on the thought of Eto'o joining his favourite club:

There's traditionally very little risk in signing a veteran player on a free transfer, but Eto'o might be an exception. Arsene Wenger shouldn't risk upsetting the balance of his team for a player who couldn't convince rivals Chelsea he still has what it takes.

Arsenal are very close to competing for a Premier League title, and a multitude of injuries late in the year highlighted the team's need for depth. But signing a 33-year-old who won't be happy with a role on the bench isn't the answer.

Eto'o was a phenomenal talent during his prime, but at this point in his career, a lucrative move to the MLS or the Middle East seems to be the logical thing to do.

 

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