Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o (Photo: Reuters)
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho said Samuel Eto’o would need time to regain his sharpness as the Cameroonian striker gets ready to fill in for Samuel Torres, who was ruled out for three games with a knee ligament injury.
Eto’o, who joined Chelsea in the summer after leaving Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, is likely to spearhead the team’s attack during Sunday’s Premier League game at Norwich City.
“When we signed Samuel I said that I know the player, I know the professional. But what happened in Russia in last two and a half years I didn't know,” Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.
“Normally when a top player goes to Russia, to Anzhi, the pressure goes down, the motivation and physical condition and sharpness goes down.
“Now he's back in top European football and needs a bit of time to find that sharpness. He's playing a lot. He played 80 minutes this week and he is getting his form and an understanding of where he is.
“Even for a player like Samuel, the Premier League is a different picture. So give him a little bit of time,” the Portuguese boss added.
Eto’o has yet to open his account since being reunited with Mourinho, under whom he won with Inter Milan a memorable Champions League-Serie A-Italian Cup treble in 2010.
“With me at Inter he played wide and came inside, very fast. I don't think he can play the same way now,” Mourinho said.
“So he must be more static player, a pure number nine. Players have to adapt to their age, potential and condition.”
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