Three-time Champions League winner is coming good at Chelsea

Eto'o And BAE Cameroon

Despite a slow start since his summer move to Chelsea, Samuel Eto'o is coming good at just the right time.

Three goals in 11 Premier League appearances is no staggering total by anyone's standards.

In fact, compared to the likes of Luis Suarez (19), Sergio Aguero (13) and Loic Remy (10), it is downright poor. Even Seamus Coleman (a full-back) and the much-maligned Marouane Chamakh have more to their name this season.

And the rather insignificant total falls under further scrutiny when you consider who it belongs to: a man who has won the Champions League not once, not twice, but three times.

Indeed, Samuel Eto'o has been the subject of plenty of criticism since joining Chelsea this summer.

Many believe the 32-year-old to simply be past his best - something a lucrative move to the Russian league seemed to signal two years ago.

Five goals in total since coming to Stamford Bridge hardly point to evidence to the contary, while Eto'o's blatant stamp on Suarez - and lunge at Jordan Henderson - suggested an unsavoury aspect to his character against Liverpool at the weekend.

But to disregard the Cameroon striker would be a bad move - something boss Jose Mourinho is no doubt aware of.

Eto'o's goal against Liverpool on Sunday was only his third of the season yet it was his first of real importance for the Blues. The 32-year-old received some help from blundering goalkeeper Simon Mignolet but the finish was all credit to him. For the first time of note since moving to Chelsea, Eto'o displayed his raw strength and determination to net from a tight angle. The progress is there.

And, if his past record is anything to go by, Eto'o won't be stopping there. More is undoubtedly on its way from the Cameroonian, especially under the watchful eye of the Special One.

The last time Mourinho invested in the 32-year-old, he led Inter Milan to a Champions League title, as well as Serie A and the Coppa Italia.

Eto'o may have aged in the time that has passed but he has not lost his deadly eye for goal.

The key was always going to be acclimatising to the Premier League, as the pace, power and dynamism of the division are completely different to what he would have experienced before. Moving from Russia to England only made that transition even harder.

Now that the forward has had a few months to settle, we might begin to see more of the Eto'o of old. His winner against Liverpool provided a glimpse - and don't be surprised if it becomes a frequent occurrence.

images: © Jason Bagley, © ennaimi

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