Chelsea have been relatively quiet in the transfer market in the past few weeks as they look to prepare for the season, but the possibility of bringing in Samuel Eto'o has caused many to take notice.
Jamie Jackson of The Guardian reported that the club is considering a £5 million bid to bring the striker from Anzhi Makhachkala. This is a move that the veteran appears very interested in, as he spoke highly of the team's coach:
There is only one José Mourinho. I have played under a lot of great coaches – but there is no other character in the game like José.
He is one of the best coaches in the world – and we had a lot of success together at Inter Milan. I would like to have the chance to play under him again because it is never boring when José is around. Chelsea are a great team. When we have all the offers on the table then I will discuss with my agent and see what my next step is.
Eto'o played for Jose Mourinho with Internazionale in 2010 when the club won the treble. However, bringing him in is not necessarily the right decision.
It is important for Chelsea to consider both sides of the potential addition before making a move. Here is a look at the positives and negatives about such a move.
Solves the Need for a Striker
Chelsea have been going after a striker virtually all summer, most notably remaining in pursuit for Wayne Rooney. Unfortunately, Manchester United maintain that he is not for sale, according to Daniel Taylor of The Guardian.
This leaves an opening at a position that Mourinho clearly thinks needs an upgrade. Demba Ba and Fernando Torres each struggled in league matches last season and are difficult to trust going forward.
While fans are hoping for a big year out of 20-year-old Romelu Lukaku, there are still questions about how he will fit in the system with skillful players around him.
The club needs someone it can trust to finish consistently when the opportunity is there. Manchester United have that in Robin van Persie, and that could be the difference this season between a league title and anything else.
Eto'o fits this description as someone who has totaled more than 20 goals in a season in La Liga as well as Serie A. Even if he does not post numbers this high, he will still do enough around the goal to give Chelsea more wins this season.
Eto'o has excelled in many places throughout his career, and not just individually but also with teams.
The 32-year-old player has won Champions League three times—twice as a member of Barcelona and once with Inter. He has been a part of a number of league champion clubs and has also led Cameroon to plenty of success at the international level.
Chelsea have players with experience who have won at the highest level, but few can match the resume of Eto'o. He can provide leadership to the younger players, especially on the attack, and make everyone around him better.
Additionally, a usual problem of making a transfer this late in the summer is that it takes a long time to get acclimated with a new club. However, the veteran's experience of playing in Mourinho's system should cut down on the transition period.
Eto'o will be able to jump onto the first team right away and do whatever it takes to help the club win.
The reason Chelsea might not want the striker on the team is the same reason he is available. Anzhi are cutting payroll after a poor start, and Eto'o is near the top of the list of players who must go.
While the transfer fee would not be too high, the player is making about £17.9 million after tax. This is a lot of money to spend on a man who has slowed down in recent years.
Additionally, the club already has a high-priced forward on the roster in Torres. If he starts sharing time with Eto'o, this would be a lot of money spent on one position.
Things could end up being even worse if the new addition does not live up to expectations. The amount of money compared to the risk does not make it a strong acquisition.
Slow Development of Lukaku
If given the chance to play, Lukaku could develop into one of the top strikers in the league. He burst onto the scene last year with 17 goals while on loan with West Bromwich Albion, and he can expect to score more while he matures physically.
However, the 20-year-old player needs to continue getting regular playing time to improve. If he spends most of the season on the bench, he will be worse than if he started.
Bringing in Eto'o (or Rooney for that matter) would keep Lukaku off the pitch as the club puts proven production and experience first.
Although this might help this season, it will hurt the squad over the long term.
What Should Chelsea Do?
The return of Mourinho brought with it high expectations for the Premier League. The club hopes to win a title this season, and it should do anything it can to put the best squad on the pitch.
Adding Eto'o would make the club better and can help bring in trophies, which makes him worth any price for Chelsea.
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