The skirmish to snare geriatric striker Samuel Eto’o was an intense and drawn-out one, but after shedding blood, sweat and several pounds sterling from the wage budget, Everton can finally declare themselves the proud owners of one of the game’s most decorated players.
Few trophy cabinets are as short on space as the Cameroonian superstar’s, with three Champions Leagues sitting alongside a trio of domestic titles and as many cups, with a bit of room reserved for his two African Cup of Nations winners’ medals too.
He represents the second ex-Chelsea glamour signing the Toffees have made this summer following the arrival of Romelu Lukaku and during his unveiling, the four-World Cup veteran declared:
“I could see straight away that at this club I will have the opportunity to play football.”
This suggests that Eto’o hasn’t been recruited to perform ancillary duties alone, rendering the 17/20 about him scoring over 9.5 Premier League goals for the Merseysiders this term incredibly good value indeed.
Those who backed the 33-year-old to cross this line last term wouldn’t have been rewarded, but the mere 16 starts he was afforded provides sufficient mitigation for this.
A threat from the wings, as well in his preferred central berth, the former Barcelona and Inter Milan man won’t only provide cover for record-signing Lukaku, he’ll pitch in with Kevin Mirallas, Steven Pienaar and Aidan McGeady out wide too.
Jose Mourinho refused to deploy Eto’o in a similar capacity owing to his unwillingness to defend, but Everton play a system that isn’t overly demanding on those providing attacking support from the flanks with regards to tracking back.
Fielding him in this capacity will almost certainly mean Lukaku savours the most prolific campaign of the two, improving the value of the Belgian’s 1/2 in his head-to-head goal-getting duel with Eto’o, who’s a 2/1 offering.