Tottenham have been handed a boost in their pursuit of legendary Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o, with co-competitors West Ham seemingly pulling out of the scramble for his signature.
Speaking after the Irons’ penalty shootout success over Schalke in the eponymously named cup the German club are hosting, boss Sam Allardyce stated:
“There has been a lot of talk about Samuel Eto’o, but from our point of view the chairman was perhaps looking at a younger player.”
The Hammers are in need of attacking reinforcements following yet another long-term injury setback dealt to Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia’s lack of fitness following his World Cup excursions.
Eto’o is a target of Tottenham’s following his release from Chelsea, with the former Barcelona man reportedly keen to remain in London for another season and with the Hammers apparently not overly keen, his path to White Hart Lane has been clearly signposted.
Spurs – ranked at 3/1 to finish in the top-four – are also believed to be considering a move for Swansea hitman Wilfried Bony, but the astronomic demands of the south Wales side have provided an emphatic stumbling block.
However, despite his well-documented old age, Eto’o would make a far better value-for-money signing than his Ivorian counterpart.
The fact that Bony didn’t flop after his summer switch from the Eredivisie speaks volumes about his talent and he could conceivably go on to better the 16 goals he scored last season.
But another megabucks attacking acquisition isn’t what Spurs require.
In Roberto Soldado they have a predatory finisher who having spent a season misfiring, will reap the rewards of Mauricio Pochettino’s continental-flavoured football this term.
With one striker set to be deployed in this system and with Emmanuel Adebayor and Harry Kane also vying for selection, a £20m-plus arrival of Bony would surely see all three sink to the bottom of the pecking order.
Eto’o, given his advancing years, is the perfect ancillary striker, as he proved at Stamford Bridge last season, scoring nine league goals in just 16 starts.
His wages wouldn’t greatly differ from the pay packet Bony would command and the fact that he wouldn’t cost a dime to sign softens any salary-related blows.
On top of this, he made more key passes per match on average last season than Bony, while his pass success rate was also better at 76.1 per cent compared to 74.1.
This suggests that he’s the marginally better hold-up player of the two, which is a valuable asset when operating as the solo spearhead of a three-man attack.