Chelsea Striker: I Almost Signed For Arsenal

By on September 14, 2013

New Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o has been recalling the time he almost signed for Arsenal and claims turning us down may have been the best decision of his life, according to Sky Sports News.

The Cameroonian hitman started out as a promising teenager who wasn’t being given a chance at Real Madrid and after loan spells at Leganes and Espanyol, he decided it was time to leave the Bernabeu on a permanent basis.

Arsene Wenger came calling in 2000 seemingly willing to give him a chance to compete with the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp for a starting spot up front at Arsenal. The striker was on the verge of making the move to Highbury but Eto’o claims he decided to join Mallorca at the last minute after holding talks with then manager Luis Aragones, and he feels this was the best decision of his life.


“I met Luis at a crucial moment in my life where I had to take the right direction – and thanks to him I did,”

“I was about to sign that very afternoon at Arsenal and maybe I would have never been the player I am today.

“Luis picked me, then I ended up joining Barcelona. That decision changed everything.” Eto’o is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News

Eto’o spent three years at Mallorca before joining Barcelona and went on to win two Champions League titles with the Spaniard’s before lifting the trophy once again at Inter Milan, so you’d have to concede he’s made the most of his career and it seems the decision to snub Arsenal was the right one.

But we’ll never know how things would have worked out had he made the move to north London back in 2000. Thierry Henry was still finding his feet at the time and perhaps if we had signed Eto’o, the Frenchman may never have gone on to become (arguably) the greatest player in our history and forge a sensational partnership with Bergkamp.

So while I appreciate the player Eto’o became, I wouldn’t have swapped him for Henry or the Henry/Bergkamp partnership in a million years.

Are you disappointed we missed out on Eto’o? Or are you glad how things worked out?


  1. Obinna vandike

    September 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Gunners for Life!

  2. Alhassan Tanko Musa

    September 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I remember him(samuel eto’o ) also sayin he will never play for chelsea or mourinho…..is it a case of a dog eating its own vomit?

  3. Felix

    September 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Let’s be honest – playing 3 years at Arsenal with Bergkamp, Henry and Arsene Wenger would likely have done more for him than 3 years at Mallorca, not to mention Pires. And looking at Barcelona’s propensity to buy Arsenal players, Petit, Overmars, Henry, Song, Fabregas (slightly different), he might well have ended up there anyway. However, he could also have won a couple of FA Cups, a couple of Premierships and probably helped Arsenal to win that little bit more, especially in Europe.

    So, no. I think Eto’o had a missed opportunity and so did Arsenal. He would have become a better player and more quickly. It’s strange that Ibrahimovic also turned down Arsenal (saying he didn’t need a trial) around 1999/2000. With he, Eto’o and Henry, I think Arsenal could have won pretty much everything for several seasons back to back.

    Oh, well. I guess if Jim Callaghan had held a September 1978 election, Margaret Thatcher would never have come into power.

  4. Arsenal12

    September 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Arsenal would have won the champions league final vs Barcelona if he was on our side. Must of killed wenger to see him score against us.

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