Eto'o eyes second stint under manager he once never wanted

REUTERS - Striker Samuel Eto'o is likely to make his Chelsea debut in Saturday's Premier League match against Everton when he embarks on a second stint under Jose Mourinho, a manager he once vowed he would never play for.

Mourinho, who signed Eto'o last month from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala having previously worked with the Cameroonian at Inter Milan, suggested the 32-year-old would see some action at Goodison Park.

"He will be selected," Mourinho, whose side are unbeaten in their opening three league games, told a news conference on Friday.

"When you are selected and you're a striker, normally you play. You start or you finish the game. My attacking players, when I select them, normally they play, because it's an area where I make more changes during the match."

A few years ago, having the Portuguese as his boss was inconceivable for Eto'o, who then went on to play in the 2010 Champions League final when Mourinho's Inter beat Bayern Munich.

"Before meeting at Inter, we didn't know each other personally, so our relationship was tense. I even said one time that I'd never play for a club where Jose was coach," Eto'o told the British newspaper The Sun in comments published on Friday.

"But God knows best. He wanted to show me that I was wrong and today Jose is a friend. Now he's my coach again.

"It's a real pleasure to team up with him once more and join a great team.

"Jose has a real clear idea. He talks straight and it's really important in this business. He's sincere and straightforward."


Mourinho is counting on Eto'o to add experience in front of a young midfield and also provide competition for Fernando Torres and Demba Ba.

"I think he is adapted to the style of play we want in our team, which is a bit contradictory to the general style and philosophy in the Premier League," he added.

"We are not a physical, direct team. We are a team that want to use the qualities of our attacking players in a different way and Samuel is adapted to it.

"Technically he is very good, his movement is very intelligent, he knows exactly the kind of movement he has to do to give continuity to the attacking game, and he has this natural appetite for goals."

With the arrival of Eto'o, Mourinho allowed forward Romelu Lukaku to join Everton on a season-long loan but the Belgian will not feature against Chelsea because of league rules on players facing their parent clubs.

He said having Eto'o with the other two senior strikers in the squad was key to his plans.

"Normally I start with one striker," Mourinho said. "A few times I can start with two. Normally I start with one but many times I finish with two.

"I chase results. Sometimes if I have to risk one point to get three, I do it almost every time.

"Against (Manchester) United (in a 0-0 draw last month) I didn't, because I felt it was an important point, but normally I risk one point to go for three.

"I like to have strikers on the bench and I like to finish matches with two of them. That's why this group of three is fundamental. It's very rare I don't make changes."

(Reporting by Sonia Oxley; Editing by John Mehaffey)


Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.