The confirmation of Samuel Eto’o’s move to Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala is arguably the most shocking transfer of the summer. With reports in early July of the Cameroon international joining English club Manchester City his move to Russia has thrown up all sorts of question marks.
The first to be answered is one that InterMilanwill be of interest the most, for those who seem perplexed by the sale of their hotshot striker.
For Inter, they have probably come off the better. Anzhi’s incredibly generous and perhaps over priced fee for Eto’o is perfect for Inter given his age and with the impending UEFA financial fair play requirements, they have done the right thing to sell. Eto’o boasted a salary of £25m a year and that contract wasn’t going to run out until 2014. By selling Eto’o, the club have gained a fantastic transfer fee and have saved themselves his yearly salary three times over.
Rumour has it that Inter will replace Eto’o and will try to sign Diego Forlan but the Uruguayan will not cost or demand a huge amount like the departing Eto’o did.
Inter President Massimo Moratti must be rubbing his hands together in delight as the transfer solves a possible future problem, one that many clubs seem destined to have when the FFP comes in to place.
For Anzhi, it is an incredible signing for a team who have only been the Russian Premier League since 2009. They finished 11th last season, but following cash injections from billionaire Suleiman Kerimov the little team from Dageston have big ambitions.
The signing of veteran defender Roberto Carlos earlier this year showed the clubs power in the transfer market even if he is overpaid and with the arrival of Eto’o the club can now look forward to a bright future.
With both Inter and Anzhi happy at the move, the final question has to go Mr Eto’o himself. Why would such a glorified world class player want to move to Russia and essentially remove his name from the big names in European Football?
Lets face it, nobody will be talking about Eto’o in a years time, not inless Anzhi shock and do wonders in the Champions League but they are a few seasons away from even qualifying for the tournament. Eto’o will be entering his mid thirties then.
Eto’o has one of the best careers in modern football; he was the first player to win two continental trebles following back to back achievements with Barcelona and Inter. He has won the title of African footballer of the year a record four times and has played for his country 105 times.
There is no doubt Eto’o will be the biggest player to ever set foot in the Russian league but surely that isn’t the reason he is going their and he certainly isn’t going to the club for publicity as Anzhi only made headlines for the racial abuse directed at Roberto Carlos last year.
Money simply has to be the only reason and after such a glittering career that boasts numerous medals and trophies, can you blame the 30-year-old for wanting a last big pay check.
He left Barcelona 2009 for Inter due to money reasons and even took the team he once loved through court make sure he received all the bonuses and outstanding money owed to him.
But he doesn’t seem to be a greedy player and it is easy for us to presume money is the reason behind his astonishing move. Eto’o is a brilliant footballer and he does all the right things off the field, his work with Puma and charitable organisations in Africa is often praised.
There is no doubting Eto’o has been one of the best strikers ever to grace the beautiful game and it will be sad not to see him scoring in Serie A and the Champions League.
And although his move to Anzhi may not look great it doesn’t sum up Eto’o’s attitude and anyway who are we to say “no” to one last big payday before one of football’s greatest ever strikers says goodbye?
Follow Ben on Twitter: @Ben_Crump and be sure to check out his blog Inside Spanish Football as well.
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