Now a lot of you may have been surprised by the move of Samuel Eto’o to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala at the start of the season, especially with him being linked to some of the best teams in Europe.
Having said that, when you have played for some of the biggest teams in Europe and you reach the pivotal age of 30, as soon as a club comes to you with a three-year-deal worth 20 million Euros per season you don’t really take time to think twice.
Straight out of Kadji Sports Academy in Cameroon, Samuel Eto’o found himself plying his trade in Spain with Real Madrid’s B team. Unable able to break into the first team in 1997 he secured loan moves to various other La Liga clubs and eventually parted company with Real Madrid and joined Mallorca on a permanent deal in the year 2000.
The Cameroon striker was their all time leading scorer with 54 goals, later rewarding him with a move to Barcelona in 2004, where Eto’o accumulated 130 goals in 200 appearances for the Catalonians winning a Champions League trophy with Barcelona, making him one their top ten greatest goal scorers of all time.
As we all know, his time at Barcelona lasted until 2009 which saw the prolific striker move to Italy with Inter Milan where he managed 53 goals in 103 appearances while also bagging another Champions League trophy with the Italian Giants.
Now, I’m not one to pass judgement on players who do their job well, but surely the sheer dominance of of Samuel Eto’o leading the frontline of any superior team in Europe would have been an excellent prospect. The Former Barcelona player was linked with moves to Arsenal, AC Milan, Manchester City and Manchester United.
The Cameroon international would have been no stranger to the Premier League or even the Bundesliga; two leagues in which he evidently didn’t play in. His stats show that he has an over 50% goalscoring ratio, no matter where he goes.
Eto’o at any top European club would have been a huge asset to many potential buyers, for the very fact of the matter is he guarantees you goals. Although the price range would have been off-putting for some clubs, especially with his age to consider, it would have been a risk worth taking due to his experience and footballing ability on the pitch. You don’t win three Champions Leagues for nothing.
The only issue I would have with him in the Premier League at this stage is maybe his ego; he’s always been known to fall out with players and staff, but in some cases that can be used as a positive if handled correctly. Samuel has always been known for his controversy; it was only last year that the Cameroon Football Federation handed him a 15 match ban for his role in the national teams strike.
So far, for Anzhi, the 30 year old has bagged eight goals in 12 appearances, so it’s quite hard to say he is not worth what he’s being paid, ok, maybe just a bit much but you understand where I’m coming from. Will there still be time for him to perform at the highest level after his contract is up? I doubt it; Anzhi looks to be the last straw for Samuel in a very successful career.
In his defence you’re going to get a little bit of arrogance with every good player, and it can pay off once a player is delivering the goods at the highest level, and that’s what he continues to do.
So although I am disappointed to not see him in the Premier League especially, I do understand his reasoning behind resisting the chance.