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Everton signs free agent Samuel Eto'o on 2-year deal after striker was released by Chelsea

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LIVERPOOL, England - Everton strengthened its attacking options by signing Samuel Eto'o on a two-year deal on Tuesday after the striker was released by Premier League rival Chelsea.

The 33-year-old Cameroon international, who scored 12 goals in 35 matches in his only season at Chelsea, is available to make his debut against the west London club on Saturday.

"I was impressed about the hunger he still has," Everton manager Roberto Martinez said. "For someone who has achieved nearly everything, he still has the desire he had at 15 when he went to Spain and showed what he could do. For many reasons he has got a point to prove.

"We are very excited and I think Everton is the perfect home for him. The fans will make him ready and feel sharp but we have got to be a bit patient with the fitness levels and make sure he is back to his best."

Eto'o is joining an Everton side which finished fifth in the Premier League last season.

"I have been very impressed by the style of play Everton adopt," Eto'o said. "I could see straight away that at this club I will have the opportunity to play football."

Before his move to English football, the striker won two Champions League titles, three Spanish league trophies and one Copa del Rey during a five-year spell with Barcelona. He then joined Inter Milan in 2009, helping the Italian club win the Serie A title, the Champions League, the Coppa Italia (twice) and the Club World Cup.

Voted African Footballer of the Year four times, he also helped his national team win the African Cup of Nations twice.

However, Eto'o signed for Everton hours after being dropped as Cameroon's captain and permanently replaced by midfielder Stephane Mbia. Eto'o had already been left out of coach Volker Finke's initial squad for the final round of African Cup of Nations qualifiers starting next month, which could signal the end of his international career.

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