Jun 17

Arsenal Transfer Analysis: Samuel Eto’o

30, Striker, Internazionale

With Inter looking at Gaël Clichy and Samir Nasri, and Arsenal seemingly still hunting for a top class forward – not to mention Samuel Eto’o now considering a move to the Premier League – it did not take a world class bit of journalism to draw a link between the needing club and a keen player.

Eto’o first came to my attention in 2001 when Arsenal played against Real Mallorca away. Ashley Cole gave a penalty and got sent off, whilst Thierry Henry was booked for diving on a miserable European night. However, it was the power and potential of a young Cameroonian that caught my eye.

Since that night, Eto’o has evolved into a world beater. Eto’o is also what Arsenal need; a striker of experience, speed, technique, aggession, hunger who dominates the box with fast short diagonal sprints to test goalkeepers. Fàbregas, Wilshere and Nasri (provided all stay) would be playing alongside a player whom even they might first want an autograph from. He is a world class name and recently called the best African football player ever. Eto’o, unlike Jermain Defoe (a poor alternative) has the skill and touch for European games, with the raw strength and bravery for the Premier League. Few players have the attributes to fit into almost any formation or any league.

There has not been a better, more consistent, harder working big game striker in the last 8 years. He was absolutely electric in the ‘holy trinity’ of Barcelona’s attacking triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o. At the San Siro, he ran the channels then launched and finished countless counter attacks for Jose Mourinho on the flanks in a 4-3-3 having made room for the bulkier Diego Milito. Following that fruitful season, he was the stand out performer in an all-of-a-sudden ageing Rafa Benitez team that appeared to have been figured out by the opposition as lacking power and stamina. Regardless, Eto’o lead the line in the central striking position of a 4-3-3.

Samuel Eto’o has had a big personality for years, and if Alex Song and his national team captain do not get on (as has been reported at the recent Cameroon meet up); there will be blame on both sides. Eto’o was labelled with being one of the bitter, poisonous personalities that began to typify associations with the Catalan club in the latter part of Frank Rijkaard’s rein. Bartolome Terrassa, a television journalist, filed a complaint after a run-in with Eto’o in the Real Mallorca parking lot, accusing the him of saying, “The next time, you are not going to escape; I’m going to kill you.” Even more concerning is a prior allegation from Eto’o’s former agent, Daniel Argibeaut, that the Cameroonian had assaulted him with four accomplices. Argibeaut claimed “They took off my shoes, which in Cameroon means I am threatened with death.”

In spite of the baggage he brings, Barcelona undervalued him catastrophically to release him to Internazionale for Zlatan Ibrahimović plus €48 million – especially after 108 goals in 145 matches. Who is to say that the profligate use of funds handed out in that deal (and that of Dmytro Chygrynsky) are not a part of the reason Barcelona cannot afford Francesc Fàbregas. Ironically Fàbregas said three seasons ago Eto’o was his dream signing for Arsenal. Has he ever asked Wenger to sign him? I would not be surprised.

I wish Fabregas managed to persuade Wenger and the Arsenal board to find the cash, especially after he broke Arsenal hearts in the Champions League final in Paris six years ago. During that game he drew the challenge that got Jens Lehmann sent off and then scored the offside goal against Manuel Almunia at the near post to equalize.
With his big talent and ego, Eto’o also has a huge yearly club salary. According to Forbes, Samuel Eto’o earned €15m between May 2010 and May 2011 by Inter, making him the 10th highest paid player in world football. In short, Arsenal would have to absolutely rip their salary structure to shreds to sign him. He earns comfortably more than our captain. Combined with an estimated €20-25m fee to sign a 30 year old, I feel this deal is an obvious no-go.

Click here to read RedDetective’s previous dose of Transfer Analysis on Peter Odemwingie and Jermain Defoe.

For all Arsenal chat, transfer news as soon as I get it and general discussion on the club, then follow @Detective82.

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21 Responses to “Arsenal Transfer Analysis: Samuel Eto’o”

  1. John says:

    Not going to happen, forget it. For starters his salary, with the much higher income tax in the UK he’d have to earn almost twice the amount of Cesc and RVP unless he is willing to take a massive pay cut. He’s also too big a risk, a very possible Chevchenko mk2. To make it worse, he can’t get on with Song, allegedly. Non starter, gutter press fantasies.

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  2. arsenal4ever says:

    Is this the John who said Bendtner will be better as Afobe? Nice article mate and I really can see this happening. Why? Kroenke told Wenger to spend and with sales we can afford him. He is willing to take a pay cut. Hope for Honda or Douglas Costa. Lille not willing to let go Hazard yet. Shame

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  3. sam says:

    he’s 7 years older than benzema and falcao and he has ego and bigger mouth than bendtner, no thanks.
    unless he’s coming on the cheap with a paycut. arsenal supporters dont care about high profile transfer as long as he can put the ball on the net to win us games.

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  4. BP says:

    I would seriously look into this. This man is quality (Better than Drogba). Worth the gamble.

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  5. tony says:

    long as wenger is manger at arsenal you can for get players like that.

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  6. rellends says:

    i remember when he played against us for mallorca on or about 9/11. we lost 1-0 and all the next days champions league fixtures were cancelled as a mark of respect. never ever in a million lifetimes ever going to happen. i wish it would. i always think we never made the best of suker when he joined us in the same summer as henry. i honestly think suker was the only fox in the box we have ever had. how did we not win anything with suker and henry available up front for us?

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  7. Mr creosote says:

    I’d weep tears of joy. But that doesn’t make it a good idea.

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  8. Aussie Jack says:

    If what I read is true (and it rarely is)his salary alone would be prohibitive so let`s look elsewhere. Try Porto!

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  9. piken79 says:

    “recently called the best African football player ever” by whom?! George Weah and Roger Milla are the best ever from Africa.

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  10. Ling Eboue says:

    If we are to sign a big ego I rather have Zlatan. He wins the league where ever he goes. 8 out 9 last years national champions. We need this kind of ‘lucky’ player. Plus he will give us physical precence up front front with VP.

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  11. ar says:

    One of the Best in the world and what we realy need.
    If Etoo comes its Titles waitiing for us.
    But wont happen coz it wud break our salary structure and a huge transfer fee.
    lets dream.

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  12. suleiman ola says:

    if wat i am reading is true or real.den go 4 eto’o to rvp in d forward line up.becos we need trophies dis season.we dont want to go trophless dis season and i hav d believe dat it is going to happen dis season.so pls try to go in 4 d deal.thx.may God b with u Wenger.

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  13. dan says:

    Piken, exactly, George Weah still the best out of Africa, Abede, Jay Jay, Roger, may not have won as much and played different positions but they are as good as Eto’o any day. That said, Eto’o is welcome, but I dare say not expected, again wages problem, club ambition problem.

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  14. AG says:

    for that kind of money we could get an almost as proven striker who is not old or a known troublestarter. eto’o seems to fit better in with the chelsea pack, let the russian pay his salaries

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  15. Inane mk says:

    Dr wenger buy eto’o pls. He is old but he still more active.

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  16. GunnerMacedonia says:

    song praised him in interview, seems like their conflict is cooling off. i believe he is what we need, at 30 he has speed, power, shoot, can defend … but the big problem is can we afford him and his wages, if wenger wants revolution, he will sign him

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  17. Joff says:

    “They took off my shoes, which in Cameroon means I am threatened with death.”

    If they go through laborious tasks like this to kill people, I’d say sign him up right away. Thats the kind of work rate we require!

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  18. pastaface says:

    What’s the reason we didn’t sign him when he trailed with us many years ago?

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  19. Pacman says:

    Should have signed him be4 he whent to Barca, this was very possible.. Now not so much..Would garanti us some titles i think.. Pay 20-25 mill for him, a huge sign on fee and the same wages as Cesc.. Kroenke pay up

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  20. jimmy says:

    if will sing eto is a great chance

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  21. John says:

    this is the time for arsenal to take the winners path or losers path. they can complain about eto being 30 and too much money and buy again a bunch of useless players, which will make Fabregas and Nasri leave the club, hang on to laways injured van persie has has never won anything and end up maybe in champions league pass the first group stage this year. or they sign eto and they will either win everything or minimum 1 cup! how is this. though personal i rather see him go to chelsea, and neymar join him. anelka and drog leave, and finaly chelseas win everything at least twice in a row. england don’t even have 1 strikker on eto’s level, Roney, Drog, Crouch blabla bla all been defeated one by one. Eto has killed them all one by one time after time. the smartest one was henry who realised if you can’t beat him Join him. and they won everything. so arsenal either get him and finaly win something, or let chelsea get him, and garantee you will loose towards chelsea each time they play each other for the next coming 3 years minimum. your call

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