The future of Inter striker Samuel Eto’o has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, with rumours suggesting he could be on his way out of the club this summer.
Recent comments made by the Cameroon hitman that suggested he would relish a move to the English Premier League, haven’t helped to silence the reports, which the Nerazzurri continue to strongly deny.
Manchester City and Ligue 1’s PSG are two clubs that have shown an interest in the striker, with reports recently emerging that Inter were prepared to offer a swap deal to City for their want away Argentine striker and captain Carlos Tevez.
With rivals AC Milan lifting the Scudetto last season however, Inter president Massimo Moratti may see this as the perfect opportunity to cash in on one of his star players, in order to rebuild for the future. The Nerazzurri are definitely an ageing squad, and simply must make some drastic changes in the coming two or three seasons if they wish to maintain their stance as one of Europe’s best clubs in the future.
Nevertheless, at this stage of their development, and with a new, relatively inexperienced coach at the helm in Gian Piero Gasperini, Moratti can ill afford to let a player who single-handedly led the club to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, second place in Serie A and a victory in the Coppa Italia final last season go.
The 30-year-old brings so much more to the table than just a solid strike and quick feet. Eto’o is one of the most experienced heads in Italy, and has done it all. If the Nerazzurri do wish to seriously challenge for domestic and European honours next term, losing a man of his stature would be a disaster.
Despite not being the oldest member of the squad, and not by a long shot, Eto’o has done it all in his career, winning Spanish and Italian league titles, three Champions League crowns, the FIFA Club World Cup, and a whole host of other team and individual accolades.
Inter proved last season just how reliant they can be on the hitman, and should they decide to offload him, they would need to find an equally adaptable and suitable replacement, in order to avoid serious consequences. Eto’o scored a career high 37 goals in 53 appearances last term, but remarkably along with his 21 league goals, he assisted nine others, whilst he managed five assists and eight goals in 11 Champions League fixtures.
These statistics basically outline the importance of the striker to this Inter team, and without him, it is difficult to see where the improvement will come from. You just have to analyse his performance against Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League tie last season, to see just how important he really is. With last season proving a difficult one for heroes of the previous campaign in Diego Milito and Wesley Sneijder, Inter need to make some key changes this summer and keep hold of their main man.
Eto’o is not only going to play a crucial role in the redevelopment of Inter next season, however he is undoubtedly one of the world’s best players, and from a Serie A perspective, it would be very sad to see yet another superstar move on. Ever since the match-fixing scandal rocked the Italian game in 2006, the competition has seen a number of star players, including FIFA World Player of the Years in Fabio Cannavaro and Kaka; leave the peninsula, in favour of moves abroad. More recently, the Italian league has slipped down the Uefa rankings, losing a place in the Champions League to the fast-improving German Bundesliga.
It would be a catastrophic decision to let Eto’o move on this summer, despite his recent comments, expressing his desire to play in the English Premier League in the future. When discussing the potential move to England recently, Eto’o confirmed to Corriere dello Sport: “I am currently considering my options. I have one month to decide as to whether I want to stay put or choose to move to the Premier League.”
He may be an ageing star, but at this rate he still has another three or four solid years at the top, which therefore means it would be ridiculous for Inter to let him go.
Should Inter offload Samuel Eto’o this summer?