Arsenal v Chelsea - Capital One Cup Fourth Round

Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o set for move to Major League Soccer

7 Comments

Last month speculation arose that Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o could be headed to Major League Soccer with Toronto FC the rumored destination.

Despite TFC’s need to add two to three designated players, many hemmed and hawed over the rumor.

Today, The Guardian is reporting that the veteran Cameroon forward is expected to move to Major League Soccer but it won’t be to Southern Ontario.

Wanting a move to the US rather than Canada, it’s believed Eto’o will move to Los Angeles Galaxy, DC United and Club Deportivo Chivas USA, Seattle Sounders or Chicago Fire.

Since arriving at Chelsea this past summer on a one-year deal from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for a cut-price $8.2 million, Eto’o has scored two goals in nine Premier League matches while also netting twice in the 3-0 win over Schalke in the Champions League.

Signed on deadline-day, Eto’o was widely believed to be a stop-gap for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho following his failure to sign Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and his decision to loan out Romelu Lukaku to Everton. Used in rotation with Fernando Torres and to a lesser extent, Demba Ba, Eto’o has won decent plaudits.

The three strikers have combined for a meager four league goals between them, which was enough to set Mourinho off in a post-match rant following his side’s 3-2 loss to Stoke City on Saturday. With options limited and Lukaku due back at Stamford Bridge next summer, the Portuguese boss is believed to be unwilling to dip into the January transfer window for a new striker.

“At the end of the season we will be in better condition to analyze our squad, to analyze the market and, normally, make a couple of changes to improve the team for next season,” said Mourinho, “but this season, we are ready to go to the end with the same people.”

Exactly where Eto’o may land in MLS remains a point of intrigue. Whatever side does manage to scoop him up will do so on a free transfer, a bonus to a potentially costly acquisition. At Anzhi, Eto’o earned $28 million per year, the highest salary in the world. This year at Chelsea that figure was slashed to $11 million.

Whether Eto’o can make an impact in MLS is another point of debate. While adjusting to the change from Russian to English Premier Leagues is no easy feat, the Cameroonian legend has shown flashes of form but has failed to provide a consistent attacking threat. Surrounded be talented, creative players at Chelsea, his inability to record a consistent goal haul is a bit worrying.

Nevertheless, the 32-year-old remains one of the games very best goal-poachers and few will doubt the quality and impact he could have in America.

Eto’o is expected to open pre-contract talks with MLS clubs in January before departing for the United States at the end of the campaign.

Premier League AT HALF: Arsenal fights back, Hull City on top

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal (L) and Francis Coquelin of Arsenal (R) celebrate after Theo Walcott of Arsenal (not pictured) scored Arsenals first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on December 10, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Goals and controversial penalty decisions are a big part of Saturday morning’s quartet of Premier League matches, all of which are at the break.

[ STREAM: Every PL game on NBC Sports ]

Arsenal 1-1 Stoke City

Joe Allen took an elbow from Granit Xhaka inside the 18, and Lee Mason awarded a PK that Charlie Adam converted to give the visitors an early lead. But Theo Walcott scored his 100th goal as a Gunner off a classy Hector Bellerin cross to make it 1-1 before the break.

Burnley 2-1 Bournemouth

The Cherries will have to dig out of another hole this week, and it all began with Jeff Hendrick‘s phenomenal opener. Fellow Irishman Steven Ward scored an economical to goal to double the lead.

But Ryan Fraser continued his fine December with an assist on Benik Afobe‘s goal before halftime.

Hull City 1-0 Crystal Palace

Robert Snodgrass drew a penalty with a pretty easy grass grab, and the Tigers have a

Swansea City 0-0 Sunderland

Not much cooking at the Liberty Stadium.

Follow @NicholasMendola

Koeman: “Nervous” Everton has a problem after another loss

WATFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Ronald Koeman manager of Everton arrives prior to the Premier League match between Watford and Everton at Vicarage Road on December 10, 2016 in Watford, England.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

One win in 10 for Ronald Koeman‘s Everton has the Dutchman on the hot seat.

Koeman seems to be clawing for air after the Toffees’ latest setback, a 3-2 loss at Watford.

The loss puts the Hornets ahead of Everton on the PL table, and — while unlikely — it’s a mathematical possibility that the Toffees could be a bottom half team by the end of the weekend.

[ STREAM: Every PL game on NBC Sports ]

That’s a brutal development for a club expected to challenge for a European place this season.

Here’s Koeman:

“I see a lot of similar problems in the team. The team is too much reactive. Of course it’s maybe a lack of confidence, but if you start the game well, 1-0 up, you need a bigger belief in the team and not going back and defending, and nervous, and not enough ball possession. In my opinion that’s a problem.”

A big problem with that? It can be put down to the manager. Is Koeman in trouble already?

Follow @NicholasMendola

VIDEO: Hendrick scores incredible volley from distance

Leave a comment

Jeff Hendrick, take a bow.

Burnley’s Republic of Ireland international midfielder pulled off a stunning piece of skill on Saturday to put the Clarets ahead against Bournemouth.

[ STREAM: Every PL game online ] 

A long ball forward was flicked on to Hendrick and he took a stunning first touch to tee himself and then settled himself before spanking a volley into the top corner.

Sensational goal from Burnley’s club-record signing.

Click play on the video above to watch it.

Messi’s latest goal dares you to count the touches (video)

PAMPLONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 10:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between CA Osasuna and FC Barcelona at Sadar stadium on December 10, 2016 in Pamplona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

There’s a danger in observing Lionel Messi on a week-by-week basis, and it has a lot to do with how he makes greatness look routine.

So while it’s easy to dismiss yet another mazy dribble through a defense, one of those “Frogger” style with calm-but-vicious cutbacks, try to consider everything that goes into Messi’s second goal against Osasuna early Saturday.

[ MORE: Watford 3-2 Everton ]

On first look, you might count 9 touches for Messi starting with his right-footed collection of the ball. But move to the slow motion replays, and recognize the truth: Often Messi is letting the ball do the work for him, essentially moving the duo closer to goal while he used his preferred left foot as a must-respect threat.

That he does it in such traffic and at full speed is incredible. It’s literally one of those goals in which a linguistic luminary like Ray Hudson would have trouble over-emphasizing the greatness.

Messi now has 11 La Liga goals in 12 matches, and 22 in 19 overall.

Follow @NicholasMendola