The capture of Samuel Eto’o feels significant. This isn’t a man who has come for one last paycheck before retirement, I’m fairly sure he would have been able to get a better deal elsewhere. Indeed it was only a few years ago that Eto’o was the highest paid footballer in the world at Anzhi Makhachkala. As Everton fans it’s not like we’ve not had experience dealing with the type of players to use us as a retirement home with David Ginola being the best and most obvious example with the likes of Mark Hughes, Paul Gascoigne, Richard Gough and Slaven Bilic being others.
Those were the desperate days for Everton. Desperate days for Everton fans when you supported the club because it was a part of you, because you were born with it and because you couldn’t help it.
The aforementioned payers were great players in their day, but they were a long, long way past their best before they joined Everton. Samuel Eto’o has just come off the back of a season where he was the best striker for a team that finished 3rd in the league and reached the semi-final of the Champions League. He scored 9 league goals in 16 starts in the league and the only thing he has lost from the game is a yard of pace. He is quite simply one of the best players in this generation and still one of the best in the league.
Like a lot of fans I have gone from being skeptical, to satisfied, to outright excited. He will score a lot of goals and bring a lot else to the clubs besides. For all the talent in our team, our experience of European Football is woeful with even the likes of Gareth Barry not playing in a Champion League knockout match. Eto’o has played in a few. In fact he was won the Champions League three times. He is a player that has thrived in Europe and that experience can only be beneficial for not only the players but the manager as well.
Then there is Romelu Lukaku. We all know how raw he is, but we all believe is his vast potential to fine tune his pace, power and finishing ability to an all-round game that will challenge the best. Lukaku loves his football and will no doubt be picking at the brains of Eto’o at every opportunity. Being able to simply watch him in training will be a coaching tool in itself. Martinez can use Eto’o as an example, an example of the perfect striker.
Eto’o was the perfect striker. Infact, he still is.
It’s a stunning deal for the club to be able to sign a striker who is so good, for no money and with that wealth of experience. As important as all that is, it all depends on if Eto’o is still hungry to play football. Still hungry to score his 360th career goal and beyond. From the interviews and press conference it is quite clear that Martinez wouldn’t of signed him if he felt otherwise. Apparently his wage demands were £100,000 per week which as I said I’m pretty sure he could of held out for at another club. The figure ended up being £70,000 which means that he isn’t the highest earner at the club which I think shows his determinism to make sure he can play at the highest level for as long as possible. Everton gives him that.
Everton have signed Samuel Eto’o. If you’re not excited, you should be.