Eto'o: 'I'm happy at Chelsea' - but do the club need him?

Eto'o And BAE Cameroon

Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o has hinted he would be happy to stay at the club for the long term. But do they need him?

The 33-year-old Cameroonian has scored seven goals in 18 Premier League appearances this term but could leave Stamford Bridge when his contract runs out at the end of the season.

And yet Eto'o insists he is happy with the Blues and thinks he has two or three years left in his playing career.

“I am happy here [at Chelsea]. My age is not important," Eto'o told the Evening Standard.

"I work the same like Oscar or Eden Hazard. I have more experience and this is good for the team.

“It is an amazing thing [to score 300 club goals] but I have maybe two or three years more [in my career]. I think I’m going to score more goals.”

But while Eto'o will clearly benefit from another season or so in west London, the bigger question is how badly the club themselves need him.

StrikerGoalsAssistsSuccessful DribblesAerial Duels WonAppsMins
Samuel Eto'o 7 2 15 6 18 1,177
Fernando Torres 4 3 22 59 20 1,115
Demba Ba 3 1 1 9 13 334

An initial look at the Opta stats for the current Premier League season suggests the 33-year-old adds value to Jose Mourinho's side.

Upon closer inspection, however, issues can be raised. Although Eto'o has scored as many goals as Demba Ba and Fernando Torres put together, the Cameroonian has less assists than Torres and has also won less duels with the ball at his feet.

In the air, meanwhile, Eto'o has struggled, winning almost 10 times less aerial duels than the Spaniard - and less than Ba having played almost four times as many minutes. Ba, too, might have been more prolific than Eto'o had he played as many minutes - we just don't know.

So if Eto'o isn't exactly leagues above Torres or Ba - and is 33 years of age - would it make sense to keep him on the club's wage bill when they look set to sign a new striker in the summer?

Chelsea have been linked with a host of world-class forwards this season, while Romelu Lukaku, importantly, will return from his loan-spell at Everton next term.

Eto'o's desire to stay at Stamford Bridge is understandable, then, but whether it makes sense for the Blues is a different story.

Should Mourinho keep Eto'o at Chelsea next season?

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