Everton’s new signing Samuel Eto’o has thanked Jose Mourinho for helping him to be accepted in the Premier League during his spell last season at Chelsea, against whom he now hopes to make his debut on Saturday.
There were suggestions that the pair, who were also together at Inter Milan, had fallen out when Chelsea manager Mourinho made a joke about Eto’o’s age.
But the four-time African Player of the Year told a news conference on Wednesday: “The only thing I have to say about Jose Mourinho is to thank him.
“It’s down to him that I had the opportunity to be accepted and integrated into the Premier League and I want to thank him for that.”
Everton manager Roberto Martinez suggested Eto’o may not be ready for Saturday’s match at Goodison Park but the Cameroon international said: “The important thing is to integrate into my new teammates’ way of playing and get ready for that match. If I don’t feature it’s just important to get ready.
“In the last 10 days I’ve travelled quite a lot and spoken with quite a few managers. I’m nearer the end of my career and I wanted to fit in where my contribution will be valued.”
Martinez added: “In every aspect he is the perfect fit for the team and squad. His mental focus was so impressive last season I knew for a fact that he was exactly what we needed for the squad.
“I would have liked him to have 10 or 11 sessions before putting him in a competitive environment, but I quickly learned I was wasting my time.
“He wants to be helpful to the team and be involved.”
Eto’o’s debut for Chelsea last September was in the 1-0 defeat at Everton and he went on to score nine league goals in 21 appearances for the west London club.
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