In one of the more surprising transfer reports of the summer, Liverpool are being linked with a move for Cameroon international forward Samuel Eto'o.
"Liverpool have not made an offer to the former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Internazionale goalscorer as yet, and are discussing several names, but Eto’o has emerged as a possible target," writes Andy Hunter of The Guardian.
The 33-year-old is seemingly the next in a line of forwards linked with a move to Anfield in the wake of Luis Suarez's departure earlier this summer.
The potential signing of Eto'o, though, would be an extremely underwhelming development at a time when Brendan Rodgers seeks to add depth to his very limited forward options.
It's clear that Liverpool need to acquire a forward, one who is capable of adding depth behind Daniel Sturridge as a focal forward among a front three but who is also possibly capable of partnering the England international.
Previous targets Alexis Sanchez and Loic Remy would have suited those roles. Both are capable of playing out wide in a front three.
Given Sturridge's injury record and Liverpool's return to the Champions League this season, it's imperative that Rodgers has more than just Rickie Lambert as his backup forward.
It's Lambert's arrival earlier this summer that makes the move for Eto'o all the more baffling. Eto'o is a player who could add depth as possibly a third-choice forward, but that is surely a role Lambert has been signed for.
Given Eto'o's wage demands, as noted by Hunter, is it really wise to sign a player as a back-up on the wages that the free agent would require? It would be very unlike Liverpool of late to pay a back-up player more than a large amount of first-team players.
Eto'o would undoubtedly add experience to Rodgers' youthful squad. He's a goalscorer and still netted nine goals for Chelsea last season in 21 Premier League appearances (five of them as a sub).
But is Eto'o better than Lambert? The England man scored 13 goals for Southampton in 37 appearances last season.
If Liverpool were to sell the third-best player in the world—who scored 31 goals last season and won the double footballer of the year award—for £75 million, and add two players whose combined age equals 55 years old—at a combined cost of £4 million—it would be a disappointment.
While nobody will directly replace Luis Suarez at Anfield, the acquisition of Eto'o and Lambert as the forward options would be an extremely underwhelming way to end the summer transfer window.
Having missed out on Alexis Sanchez as part of the deal for Suarez, it is concerning that Liverpool's contingency plan appears to be almost non-existent. Exploring options such as Loic Remy, Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani and now Eto'o hardly points to an extensive scouting of forward options. It's a short list that any teenage football fan could have drawn up.
Indeed, the interest in Eto'o and Liverpool's attacking options being so thin seems a little too similar to the disappointing end to the 2012 transfer window, when the Reds ended up pursuing a move for 37-year-old free agent Alessandro Del Piero (per ESPN).
Fortunately, Liverpool still have a few weeks of the transfer window remaining to rectify the issue this time, and they hopefully have something a little more inspiring lined up.
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