Despite his smiley exterior, it appears that injured Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o did not see the funny side of his managers jest regarding his age. Unaware of his being filmed, Mourinho recently alluded to the fact that Eto’o (as many African born footballers are said to be) may be older than he suggests. Reportedly, the rift between the player and the manager that has resulted may well see Eto’o depart from Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
The Cameroon international signed for Chelsea on a 1 year deal at the start of this year, after several high profile transfer targets failed to materialise. Undoubtedly, his role in the team was only ever considered to be a stop-gap style appointment, but his departure will emphasise the need for Chelsea to find a suitable replacement. The Blues continue to struggle to find goals from their number 9s this season.
Eto’o himself has managed a respectable 8 goals in 19 appearances, and is 3 from 3 in his last few starts, but Mourinho will be looking toward the future with his next big money signing. If the 33 year old does decide to leave, it could well mean a total fire sale for the Blues, amid speculation that Fernando Torres’ and Romelu Lukaku’s futures at Stamford Bridge are also uncertain.
Chelsea fans will be thankful for his services rendered this season, but whether he is 33 or 35, it’s undeniable that it’s time to bring in a striker for the future. Atletico Madrid’s in form number 9 Diego Costa continues to be the likely candidate to occupy the Chelsea front line next season, but with a number of clubs eager to sign the Spaniard, Roman Abramovich may need to splash a sizable amount of cash when transfer season rolls around.