Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o seals Everton switch
Everton, 6/1 for a top four finish, have secured the signing of striker Samuel Eto’o, who arrives on a free transfer on a two-year deal following the end of his contract with Chelsea.
The 33-year-old Cameroon frontman will add valuable experience to the Toffees attack, as Roberto Martinez’s men push for a Champions League spot.
Spaniard Martinez said: “I met him and we had a very good chat about football in general and I was impressed about the hunger he still has.
“For someone who has achieved nearly everything, he still has the desire he had at 15 when he went to Spain and showed what he could do.
“For many reasons he has got a point to prove. We are very excited and I think Everton is the perfect home for him.
“The fans will make him ready and feel sharp but we have got to be a bit patient with the fitness levels and make sure he is back to his best.”
After netting nine goals in 21 Premier League appearances for Chelsea last term, Eto’o proved he still has enough left in the tank to compete in the top-flight. The veteran forward is the Toffees seventh summer signing, and will join former Stamford Bridge clubmate Romelu Lukaku and Blues loan star Christian Atsu at Goodison Park.
Eto’o began his illustrious career at the Kadji Sports Academy, before switching to Real Madrid in 1997. He only made six total appearances for the Spanish giants, though, and was farmed out on loan three times, before making a permanent move to Mallorca.
After illustrating impressive poaching prowess for the La Liga minnows, Eto’o earnt a move to Barcelona in 2004, and scored an incredible 129 goals in 201 games for the Catalan club.
Following five successful seasons at the Nou Camp, including three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies, Eto’o made a switch to Serie A outfit Inter Milan, where he plied his trade for two terms. The African attacker was a key component in Jose Mourinho’s legendary 2010 Italian treble-winning side, and added another Champions League medal to his trophy hall.
A three-year stint at Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala followed, before Eto’o reunited with Mourinho at Chelsea, where he contributed to the club’s third place league finish.
In addition to all his silverware success, Eto’o has also received a raft of individual awards, including winning the African Player of the Year Award four times and the 2006 Pichichi trophy.
On his move, Eto’o said: “I am very happy to be here, I am looking forward greatly to putting on the blue shirt of Everton.
“I have been very impressed by the style of play Everton adopt. I could see straight away that at this club I will have the opportunity to play football.
“I had the chance to speak with the manager over the last few days and we agreed that this was what we would do.
“I was impressed with his enthusiasm but also by the knowledge of football that Roberto Martinez carries, his vision of football and how he reads football. I still think I can learn a great deal from him here.”
Eto’o is also Cameroon’s all-time top scorer, having netted 56 times in 117 caps for his country, who he helped to African Cup of Nations success in 2000 and 2002. After a calamitous World Cup campaign, however, he has recently been stripped of the Indomitable Lions captaincy.
After narrowly missing out on a place in Europe’s premier competition last term, it was clear Everton needed to add strength in depth. Now the Toffees, odds-on at 1/12 to miss out on a top four spot again, can add an experienced trophy winner to their squad of bright young pretenders.