Samuel Eto'o and Romelu Lukaku Will Bring a New Level of Potency to Everton

Matt CheethamCorrespondent IAugust 27, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22:  Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal uring the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on March 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Everton have filled their most pressing remaining need of the summer transfer window. By signing Samuel Eto'o on a two-year contract, Roberto Martinez has recruited the firepower he needs to support Romelu Lukaku.

The transfer provides him the option of rotation and, crucially, allows him far more manoeuvrability from the bench, with the Catalan handed another genuine goal threat.

Martinez now has an impressive one-two punch to play with throughout the coming season.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19:   (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission of #463789677 with alternate crop.) Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea scores his team's third goal and completes his hat trick despite the challenge from Antonio Valencia of Manchester United during the
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Eto'o may be 33, and may still be living off one of the wealthiest contracts in football, but he brings a touch of star quality to the Everton dressing room.

His decorated career—embellished with three Champions League titles—will captivate the Toffees' younger players. He also brings vast European experience and a winning mentality to Goodison Park.

More importantly, though, he almost guarantees a healthy return of goals.

Clearly no longer at the height of his powers, Eto'o is still on a remarkable streak of notching double figures in the past 12 straight league campaigns.

He scored twice in Russia last season before moving to Chelsea and hitting nine goals in 21 Premier League appearances (16 of them starts). That punctuated return still ranks above every Everton player from last season, excluding Lukaku.

Incredibly, Eto'o's worst scoring ratio in that 12-year period is still a prolific 2.67 games per goal—a return few Everton strikers have reached over the past two decades.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23:  Per Mertesacker of Arsenal competes with Romelu Lukaku of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on August 23, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffith
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

One striker who has surpassed that scoring ratio is Lukaku, who will thrive on the opportunity to train with and learn from Eto'o.

They will rarely be on the pitch together, with Lukaku certain to remain the Toffees' main man, but Eto'o's presence will improve the Belgian and maintain an attacking threat in his absence. Eto'o will also add a scoring option from the bench should Everton be chasing a result.

Martinez's second season at Everton will be a protracted campaign, with the Europa League likely to see it pass 50 games. Starting Lukaku in all of them was never an option, and prior to Eto'o's arrival, the Catalan's previous alternatives did not provide anywhere near enough threat.

Eto'o brings a crucial layer of depth to the Toffees squad, permitting Martinez to rotate his main weapon and keep the Belgian far fresher for key stages of the season.

Last year, Martinez set records for Everton's best-ever Premier League season in terms of points (72), wins (21) and successive wins (seven). With Lukaku and Eto'o on board, some scoring records may soon be next.

 

Statistics via WhoScored.com.