Pitchside

Why Samuel Eto’o is exactly what Liverpool need

Pitchside

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Squawka examine whether Samuel Eto'o is the striker Liverpool need as talks continue with the legendary Cameroon star.

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It is no secret that Liverpool need a striker following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

But, nevertheless, it was still a surprise to see the club linked with free agent Samuel Eto'o on Monday evening. The Cameroon international spent last season at Chelsea and whilst he is believed to be in discussions with Dutch champions Ajax, he would prefer to stay in the Premier League if it became an option.

[PAPER ROUND: LIVERPOOL IN ETO'O TALKS]

Liverpool only have Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert as central forwards and manager Brendan Rodgers wants one more striker, though has just been frustrated in all of his pursuits thus far.

Various media outlets are reporting that Eto'o is an option, but is he someone they should actually pursue?

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Last season at Chelsea, Eto'o scored nine goals (above), a disappointing return but one which made him the highest scoring Chelsea striker of the season.

This stat does not compare favourably with the figures of Sturridge and Suarez, who scored 62 between them. However, Eto'o wouldn't be coming in to replace Suarez, he would act as Sturridge's back-up.

The England striker is going to become the main man this season at Anfield following Suarez's departure but he needs more support than just Lambert.

In that respect, signing Eto'o actually makes a lot of sense, especially if other targets are unavailable. He will be happy with a one-year deal and the chance to play in the Premier League once more. He will know that if he plays regularly and does well he could get himself a new contract.

The main problem for Liverpool will be his wage demands, which are believed to be around £100,000 per week. As a club, Liverpool can pay that but will be wary of forking out so much for a back-up striker.

The problem Rodgers has is that he isn't sure whether to gamble on a bigger name or choose a young and upcoming striker. The problem for Rodgers is that if Sturridge gets injured he wants an adequate replacement, but if his main striker stays fit he needs someone who is happy to stay on the bench.

Lambert, a boyhood Liverpool fan, is the perfect option but going into a Champions League campaign with just two strikers is a bit risky.

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Eto'o is a good player, his career shows that, but he is a shadow of his former self and whilst his finishing is still good (his conversion rate was 20.5% last season) it isn't what it once was.

Eto'o isn't going to win titles for Liverpool, though he could end up being a good option when Sturridge is injured or needs a rest.

Don't forget that next summer Belgian striker Divock Origi will return from his loan with former side Lille to provide more competition for Sturridge. Until that point in time, Eto'o could be exactly what Rodgers and Liverpool need.

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