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

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

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."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou make a lot of good points, but I still find myself instinctively against anything that makes it easier for Paul Ince to get managerial roles

stevenjameshyde
No Good Reason Not To Try The Rooney Rule

W

ow, that is so noble of you Rio. You're such an amazing guy, and so handsome too. Everyone wishes they were like the fantastic Rio Ferdinand.

Petulant_Radish
Rio: No grudge with 'gent' Moyes

T

errible night all round. This was a team there for the taking yet I fail to recall their 'keeper making a notable save. Sterling decided to have his worst game ever, Coutinho only provided about two good passes all game and Balotelli continues to frustrate. The less said about the set piece defending the better. Daniel Sturridge cannot came back soon enough. The lack of a real threat in the final third is so surprising, no killer pass, not testing...

jegz1uk
A Worrying Trend Of Liverpool Lethargy

Footer 365

Transfer news: Barcelona's Dani Alves hints at move to Premier League next summer

Brazil defender Dani Alves says this is his last season at Barcelona as he will move to the Premier League next summer.

Champions League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger confident Danny Welbeck's finishing will only get better

Arsene Wenger says hat-trick hero Danny Welbeck showed the "instinct of a goalscorer" in Arsenal's win over Galatasaray.

European Qualifiers: Daniel Sturridge won't be in England squad, says Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Roy Hodgson has agreed to leave Daniel Sturridge out of his England squad.

Mail Box

Danny, Champion Of Arsenal's World

It's a Mailbox filled with Liverpool glumness, but happiness surrounding Danny, champion of Arsenal's world. Plus, can someone try and teach Balotelli the offside rule?

It Was Better When City Were Rubbish

'I think I preferred it when we were s**t' says one City fan in the afternoon mailbox. There's a decent chat about the empty seats plus views on Liverpool and Roma...

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