Mourinho: Eto’o is not the player he was at Barcelona or Inter Milan

José Mourinho Celebrates

The Chelsea boss has admitted that the Cameroon international is not at the same standard as he was earlier in his career.

With the attacking midfield talent at Chelsea’s disposal, the aim in the summer transfer window was to secure the signing of a striker to finish chances consistently.

Despite efforts to snatch Wayne Rooney from Manchester United, the Blues banked on Samuel Eto’o as their new forward, to give Fernando Torres and Demba Ba competition for places.

The African hitman moves to west London with an impressive goalscoring record from throughout his career, but has failed to hit the back of the net in his first three appearances for his new side.

Jose Mourinho has stated that he believes Eto’o is a great player, but admits that the veteran’s current abilities are not akin to what they were earlier in his career.

"Anzhi? We all know that was for economic reasons,” Mourinho is quoted as saying by Le10.

"When you spend more than ten years on top of European football, then you go for completely different and unknown challenge with Anzhi, we all know that it is for economic reasons.

"He is no longer the player he was at FC Barcelona or Inter Milan. I knew he would not have his level, but for me he is a great player."

After playing in the Russia Premier League, a move to England will be a step up for Eto’o and it is only natural that he will need time to acclimatise to his new surroundings.

There is no doubt over Eto’o’s pedigree and once he finds his feet the Cameroon international should score his fair share of goals for the Londoners. With the supply of the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and countless other top-drawer attacking midfielders, Eto’o will come good once he gets off the mark.

However, Mourinho’s comments suggest that the African marksman will be used as a short-term fix, with a big name set to be signed next summer. The Blues missed out on the likes of Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao, with Rooney also deciding to stay at Old Trafford.

It may well be that Romelu Lukaku gets his chance next season if he can prove his worth at Everton this term, while new faces are seemingly always on the Chelsea agenda.

It remains to be seen how this season will go for the Blues though, if Mourinho is relying on a striker that he admits is not at the same standard now that he was earlier in his career.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch