Chelsea's Eto'o celebrates after scoring a goal against FC Schalke 04 during their Champions League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London

Samuel Eto’o becomes latest big name striker linked with Toronto FC

3 Comments

The list of world class forwards linked with Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC keeps on growing.

But, sorry to be the party pooper here, that doesn’t mean anything’s going to happen.

Numerous reports suggest Chelsea’s Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o is the next in a long line of top strikers to be joining TFC, as Jermain Defore, Alessandro Del Piero and Alberto Gilardino to name a few.

Eto’o, 32, signed with Chelsea on a one-year deal when he joined from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala this summer. He’s been sporadically starting for the Blues and in the last week he scored three times in two starts as Chelsea beat Schalke and drew with West Bromwich Albion. The former Real Mallorca, Barcelona and Inter Milan striker comes with an incredible pedigree and still has a lot to give, as he’s shown for Chelsea this year.

We all known Tim Leiweke is desperate to turn Toronto FC into a success story, but is Eto’o really the go to man? Perhaps, but I believe he’s just one of a number of DPs the Canadian side are looking to add as Ryan Nelsen’s overhaul continues. They need two or three DPs, desperately.

The plus point for TFC is that if they wait until May the Cameroon legend will actually be available on a free transfer. So this may sway Eto’o in the direction of Southern Ontario but I can’t help but be skeptical about this rumor. If he’s paid massive amounts with a DP salary, yes I can see it happening. As we all well know, Toronto are well supported and their long suffering fans fill the stands no matter whats going on but a successful team will bring sellouts.

Eto’o has scored 295 goals in 586 games in his career and is Cameroon’s all-time leading appearance holder and goalscorer with 55 goals from 112 games. He is a poacher who can provide much needed goals. Think Robert Earnshaw but 10 times better. (Sorry, Earny)

His pedigree is undoubted and a top goalscorer is exactly what goal-shy Toronto have been lacking for several seasons.

That said, I’ll believe Eto’o leading the Reds to MLS Cup glory when I see it.

Southampton: Van Dijk won’t leave, selling days likely done

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 29:  Ralph Krueger the Southampton Chairman looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium on March 29, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ralph Krueger doesn’t plan on selling any more big Southampton stars, and there’s none brighter than Virgil Van Dijk.

The Dutchman is perhaps the best center back in the Premier League, regularly linked with transfers to anywhere from Manchester City to Liverpool.

[ MORE: Liverpool hires new CEO ]

But Krueger says Saints have had enough of selling big assets. Southampton has sold Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane, and Nathaniel Clyne in the past three seasons, and those are just the names to go to Liverpool. Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama have also moved on from St. Mary’s.

From Sky Sports:

“We would like to move away from that and we feel confident this summer will be a lot quieter in Southampton and we can keep the core of this team moving forward for a few years.

“That is going to be important when you see how excellent the group is right now and how exciting the football is. The game we are playing is a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to be part of.”

Saints were the more effective side in a 3-2 EFL Cup Final loss to Manchester United this weekend, but are well off the pace in the race to make back-to-back trips into Europe.

It will be hard to hold onto Van Dijk and even new bright light Manolo Gabbiadini without Europe, but Krueger is a strong leader with the ability to convince almost anyone to buy into a plan.

Real Salt Lake signs Plata to multi-year DP deal

Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (8) gestures while walking during an MLS soccer game against New York City FC Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Sandy, Utah. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP) DESERET NEWS OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; MAGS OUT
Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
Leave a comment

SANDY, Utah (AP) Real Salt Lake has re-signed forward Joao Plata to a multi-year contract and he will continue to hold a designated-player spot.

The 24-year-old was acquired from Toronto FC before the 2013 season and he has 30 goals and 30 assists in regular-season play with RSL.

[ MORE: Liverpool flops vs LCFC ]

Plata ranks No. 3 on the team’s all-time assists list and No. 5 in goals. He has 33 goals and 35 assists during his MLS career.

Real Salt Lake begins the season Saturday when it hosts Toronto FC.

Gotze out indefinitely with metabolism disorder

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 06:  Mario Goetze (R) and Ann-Kathrin Broemmel attend the MTV Europe Music Awards 2016 on November 6, 2016 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for MTV)
Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for MTV
Leave a comment

Mario Gotze’s last few seasons have not fulfilled the expectations thrust about the World Cup-winning attacker.

Gotze, 24, scored the 113th minute goal that lifted Germany past Argentina in the 2014 World Cup, but has endured successive disappointing seasons between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

[ MORE: Liverpool hires new CEO ]

With just two goals this season, Gotze has played just 24 minutes since BVB came back from winter break. On Monday, the club revealed why: a metabolism disorder that will keep him out for an indefinite period of time. From Sky Sports:

“We are glad to know the reasons for Mario’s complaints and we are convinced that after recovering he will give us extra quality with his exceptional abilities,” said Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc.

“Mario gets the full backing and maximum support from all of us at Borussia Dortmund on his way back.”

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Gotze at his best, and here’s hoping this problem is both curable and the reason for his struggles.

Liverpool hires EA Sports executive as new CEO

Leave a comment

Liverpool has named Peter Moore as the successor to chief executive office Ian Ayre.

Ayre, 53, is off to 1860 Munich this summer, and has stepped down early to allow Moore to take over.

[ MORE: Liverpool flops vs LCFC ]

A Liverpool-born executive, Moore was the chief operating officer at EA Sports and has also worked with Microsoft and SEGA.

The move “completes a transitional phase” which saw several new names join the fray. From The Liverpool Echo:

The appointment completes a transition plan by FSG which included appointing Michael Edwards as sporting director while Billy Hogan was promoted to the role of managing director and chief commercial officer.