London: Everton have announced that they have signed Cameroon great Samuel Eto'o on a free transfer after he was released by Chelsea at the end of last season. The 33-year-old striker has signed a two-year contract and could make his debut against his former club on Saturday when Chelsea visit Goodison Park in the Premier League.
"I met him and we had a very good chat about football in general and I was impressed about the hunger he still has," Everton manager Roberto Martinez told the club's official website. "For someone who has achieved nearly everything, he still has the desire he had at 15 when he went to Spain and showed what he could do.
For many reasons he has got a point to prove. "We are very excited and I think Everton is the perfect home for him. The fans will make him ready and feel sharp, but we have got to be a bit patient with the fitness levels and make sure he is back to his best."
Eto'o scored 12 goals for Chelsea last season after signing from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, including a hat-trick against Manchester United. But his relationship with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho came under scrutiny after the Portuguese was caught on camera by a French television channel apparently casting doubt on Eto'o's age.
"I am very happy to be here. I am looking forward greatly to putting on the Blue shirt of Everton," said Eto'o, who is Cameroon's record goal-scorer. "I have been very impressed by the style of play Everton adopt. I could see straight away that at this club I will have the opportunity to play football. "I had the chance to speak with the manager over the last few days and we agreed that this was what we would do.
"I was impressed with his enthusiasm but also by the knowledge of football that Roberto Martinez carries, his vision of football and how he reads football. I still think I can learn a great deal from him here."
Eto'o will provide back-up for Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who joined Everton from Chelsea in a club-record Â£28 million ($47.4 million, 35.4 million euros) deal last month. Eto'o has won three Champions League titles -- two with Barcelona and one with Inter Milan -- and has been crowned African Player of the Year on four occasions.