Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Southampton

Tuesday, 23 September 2014, 19:45

Capital One Cup Third Round

Villa Park

Last Game

A Villa 0 - 3 Arsenal

Saturday, 20 September 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Eto'o: I nearly joined Arsenal

Chelsea's new signing Samuel Eto'o says he almost signed for Arsenal in 2000, but has no regrets over turning them down.

Last Updated: 14/09/13 at 12:13 Post Comment

Samuel Eto'o: Set to make Chelsea debut on Saturday

Samuel Eto'o: Set to make Chelsea debut on Saturday

Eto'o was looking to leave Real Madrid at the time after failing to get enough chances to impress at the Bernabeu, and had already been loaned out to Leganes and Espanyol.

The Cameroon international was still just a teenager, but then Mallorca boss Luis Aragones showed faith in the young striker and managed to lure him to Son Moix just when Arsene Wenger was poised to snap him up instead.

"I met Luis at a crucial moment in my life where I had to take the right direction - and thanks to him I did," Eto'o told The Sun.

"I was about to sign that very afternoon at Arsenal and maybe I would have never been the player I am today.

"Luis picked me, then I ended up joining Barcelona. That decision changed everything."

Eto'o initially signed for Mallorca on loan and after scoring six goals in 19 La Liga appearances, he made a permanent club-record £4.4million switch in the summer of 2000.

After winning the Copa del Rey in 2003, he signed for Barcelona the following year and landed two Champions League titles with the Catalan club before repeating the achievement with his next club Inter Milan.

The four-time African Player of the Year now finds himself in the Chelsea ranks after his summer switch from Anzhi Makhachkala and is set to make his debut in the Saturday Night Football encounter at Everton in the Premier League.

Eto'o added: "I had lots of opportunities to come to England, but I am glad to finally be here now."

The 32-year-old has previously admitted that he did not always see eye to eye with Jose Mourinho during their time together with Inter, but says the attraction of working with the Portuguese boss again brought home to west London.

Eto'o told Sky Sports News: "After all that's happened in Russia over the last couple of months, I had a few proposals from European clubs - but none of them had Jose Mourinho.

"It was an opportunity for me to team up with him again, and have the opportunity to continue working with him like I did at Inter Milan. And that is the reason I am here."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Footer 365

Indian Super League: Adrian Mutu and Mikael Silvestre to play in India

Ex-Chelsea and Juventus forward Adrian Mutu to sign for FC Pune City in the Indian Super League, Sky sources understand.

Premier League: Arsenal win 3-0 at Aston Villa to end the hosts' unbeaten start

Aston Villa’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by a devastating goal blitz as Arsenal enjoyed a 3-0 away win.

Premier League: Newcastle draw with Hull City as Papiss Cisse scores two

Substitute Papiss Cisse saved the day for Newcastle and under-fire manager Alan Pardew in their 2-2 draw with Hull City.

Mail Box

Liverpool Aren't Even Exciting This Season

Liverpool fans are seemingly resigned to slipping back into mediocrity, which in September isn't exactly ideal. Plus better Arsenal, Allardyce praise and an excited Saint...

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property