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Eto'o move could be a smart deal for Everton

Roberto Martinez may have pulled off a coup in signing Samuel Eto'o on a free transfer.

Julian Finney

With Everton having completed the signing of Samuel Eto'o on a free transfer on Wednesday, the transfer window may be concluded for the Blues.

However, in making the Cameroon striker their latest addition, the club might have managed to acquire one the bargains of the summer in a deal that has flown under the radar.

The former Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea forward joins on a two year deal which may have raised some eyebrows considering he is 33. Despite scepticism though, Roberto Martinez now has a player with a wealth of experience at his disposal without breaking the bank to acquire him.

Eto'o has played in nearly every top league around the world, gaining experience at the pinnacle of the European game at every club he has represented. Although he no longer possesses the pace and power that he had in his younger days, there is no denying he is a predator of the highest calibre.

Even at Chelsea last year he managed nine goals in 21 appearances, despite regularly being rotated with Fernando Torres. Those goals came against top-level opponents as well, with a hat trick against Manchester United a particular highlight. Those kind of goals cold prove vital in the quest for Champions League football. Nobody is likely to benefit from his presence more so than Romelu Lukaku though.

The young striker has had a lot of expectation heaped upon his shoulders following his £28m move from Chelsea, but still has a lot to learn in order to be the striker everyone expects him to develop into. Who better to learn that trade from than Eto'o? With all that European experience and goals under his belt, and time working for some of the best managers in the world, the striker has picked up plenty of tricks and knowhow that Lukaku will do well to take on board.

The Belgian is still a little rusty around the edges, especially with his ball control, and working with a striker of the quality of Eto'o can only have a positive effect on his development down the line. Furthermore, Everton are gaining an able deputy in his place. Last season Lukaku tired after having to play so regularly as Everton suffered from not having an able replacement for him.

With Arouna Koné still nursing himself to fitness and Steven Naismith looking better as a false nine, the club desperately needed a further addition to their forward line for this season, especially with the added fixtures of the Europa League thrown in to the mix. Eto'o will provide that, allowing the Blues to rotate and keep Lukaku fresh across the entire season, hopefully boosting his goal tally in the process.

While the signing of Eto'o comes with natural risks considering his age and previous fallings out at different clubs, Martinez has already spoken of his impressive emotional and mental state, with "a real desire to achieve" thrown in for good measure.  Should the striker manage to aid the youngsters already at the club, and score vital goals in the process, Everton could have one of the deals of the summer for a minimal price.

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