LONDON: Jose Mourinho is planning to hand Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o his Premier League debut when Chelsea visit Everton on Saturday.
Eto’o, 32, moved to Stamford Bridge from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in the final week of the transfer window and will join Fernando Torres and Demba Ba in a three-way battle for the central striker role in Mourinho’s team.
The Chelsea boss confirmed Eto’o will be in the match-day squad and can expect to feature at Goodison Park, although he stopped short of revealing if the former Barcelona star, who played under Mourinho at Inter Milan, would be in his starting line-up this weekend.
“He will be selected and when you are selected and you are a striker, normally you play. You start the game or finish the game,” Mourinho said on Friday.
“My attacking players, normally when I select them they play because it’s the area I make most changes in the match.
“So normally he will play his first minutes for Chelsea in the Premier League.”
Despite being in the twilight of his illustrious career, Mourinho believes Eto’o will make an immediate impact in his new surroundings.
“I think he is a player that can fit into the style of play we want in our game, which is a bit contradictory to the style and philosophy in the Premier League,” Mourinho added.
“We are not any more a physical team, we are a team that wants to use the abilities of our attacking players in a different way.
“Technically he is very good, his movement is good, he is intelligent, he knows the kind of movement he has to make (to) give continuity to the attacking game.”
Eto’o’s arrival has put more pressure on under-performing Spanish striker Torres, who Mourinho has previously claimed has so far repaid only half of the £50 million ($79.35 million, 59.75 million euros) fee Chelsea paid out to Liverpool.
But Mourinho insists he has not yet decided who will be his principal forward for the key matches this season.
“Normally I start with one striker but many, many times I finish with two because I chase results,” Mourinho said.
“I think the happiness of the strikers depends on the goals they score, that’s their nature. A striker was born to score goals.
“So they can play more or less minutes but that natural happiness depends on the goals they score and the importance of the goals they score.
“So the happy one will be the one that has more times to feel that special feeling a striker gets when he scores goals.”
Mourinho believes that amongst Chelsea’s main rivals for the title, Tottenham enjoyed the most successful transfer window, despite selling Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
But he was surprised his former club Real sold Mesut Ozil to Arsenal.
“I think Tottenham are the champions by a distance in the transfer window,” he said.
“They bought several players, international players, all of them players for big countries, so I think Tottenham were the winner. They have a fantastic squad.
“I was surprised Ozil moved but that’s the market. Madrid has a lot of great players so they don’t become a weaker team because they lost Ozil and Mesut comes to the biggest league in the world.”
Mourinho refused to be drawn into a public debate sparked by English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke about the failure of the Premier League to produce homegrown players.
But he is ready to sit down with Dyke to find a solution to help encourage young English talent.
“It is the kind of discussion I am ready to have privately,” Mourinho said.
“If the right people think my experience of being abroad and being in important leagues in different countries and knowing English football as well as I do…if these people think I can make a little contribution to an internal debate to end with solutions we all want, then I am ready for that.”