The arrival of Samuel Eto’o at Stamford Bridge throws up something of a selection headache for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho whilst across the English capital Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger faces a selection dilemma of his own.
Chelsea’s signing of the 32-year-old Cameroon striker from Anzhi Makhachkala this week means the boss has the choice between his new signing and former player at Inter Milan, Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and youngster Romelu Lukaku up front.
Whilst having four quality striker talent available to the Portuguese boss is unlikely to lose him any sleep, it may be cause for concern for the other three players.
£50 million man Torres has struggled to find and maintain his form for the Blues since his arrival from Liverpool in January 2011, whilst this January’s signings Demba Ba from Newcastle also failed to replicate his sensational form for the Magpies last term.
One man who hasn’t struggled with form is 20-year-old Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku who scored an outstanding 17 goals on loan at West Brom last term. The youngster will be hoping to force his way into the first team at Stamford Bridge this term but with Eto’o arrival, all three of Chelsea’s other strikers will likely find regular access to starts more elusive.
Back to North London and Arsene Wenger’s dilemma is almost the complete opposite – Wenger relied on Frenchman Olivier Giroud as his only recognized centre-forward last term after the Gunners sold Robin van Persie.
Lukas Podolski featured through the middle, as did Theo Walcott, when necessary but the German forward has been ruled out for 10 weeks with a hamstring injury whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s knee injury which rules his out for at least three months will mean Walcott will be required on the right flank for as many games as possible.
Arsenal’s pursuit of top quality strikers this term has so far been unfruitful – the Gunners failed to negotiate deals for Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez but could they be tempted to take a gamble on Fernando Torres?
There’s no doubt that the 29-year-old World Cup winner possesses great talent – he has proven himself a 20-goals per season striker when he is at optimum fitness and motivated by the right coach. Last term under Rafael Benitez he scored 22 goals for the Blues but his previous record at Stamford Bridge has been underwhelming.
At Liverpool, in his first three seasons he scored an average of 24 goals per season in all competitions and his form for Spain is impressive, scoring 5 goals in 5 outings at international level in 2013, taking his tally to 36 goals in 42 appearances overall.
Whilst the Blues spent £50 million on Torres, he’s unlikely to fetch even half of that now – the figures being suggested are around £20 million, which is well within Arsenal’s price range.
His former club Liverpool are also reportedly interested in re-signing him but Arsenal’s qualification for the Champions League could likely sway him towards the Emirates where he would also join his compatriots Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal.