Samuel Eto'o can help Romelu Lukaku bloom, says Everton hero Latchford

Written by Reuters | London | Updated: Oct 31 2014, 15:20pm hrs
Bob Latchford, one of the most popular players ever to don the blue shirt of Everton, says the arrival of Samuel Eto'o at the club will help turn Romelu Lukaku into a worthy centre forward successor.

Particularly deadly in the air, Latchford scored 138 goals in 289 appearances for the Toffees from 1974 to 1981, also winning 12 England caps, and takes a keen interest in his former club.

He feels Eto'o's experience will accelerate the progress of Lukaku, who became the club's record signing when he joined for 28 million pounds($44.90 million) from Chelsea this year after a successful season on loan.

"We all know Samuel's quality -- he's been around a long, long time," Latchford told the club's website (

"When you've got an older striker who's been around and played at the very highest level, it's good for you, because you're seeing what he does and you can only learn from that.

"That benefits Romelu's development and I thought it was a good signing to bring Samuel in. Romelu has got a lot to learn because he's only a young lad but he's big, he's strong, he's powerful and he'll not only link up the play for you, he'll run at defences.

"And if you get enough quality balls into the box to him in dangerous areas, then he knows how to score goals."

Both strikers were on target in Sunday's 3-1 win at Burnley, Eto'o getting two, as Everton continue to edge up the table after a sticky start to the season.

They are expected to feature again against Swansea City, another former club of Latchford, on Saturday, though not necessarily at the same time.

Manager Roberto Martinez is also delighted about Eto'o's impact both in matches and around the training ground.

"Having Samuel Eto'o here is like a gift from the footballing Gods for us," he said of the 33-year-old, who he nabbed from under the noses of several other interested Premier League clubs at the start of the season.

"He is the perfect ingredient for our young players, a phenomenal example.

"The way he has been working to get his fitness is pristine and the way he took his finishes at Burnley was like the old days. He has that stimulation to win things.

"He comes in every day with the highest standards and he wants more work. I think Everton can give him an important chapter in his career."

Lukaku completed a hat-trick of worshipers of the man who has lifted the Champions League trophy three times.

"Every day we are together on and off the pitch, along with Ross Barkley, and Samuel is always giving us advice," he said.

"After each training session we have a little finishing competition, with the loser doing sprints. He wants to help me become one of the best.

"I feel very lucky to be able to work with someone I grew up watching," said the Belgian.

"I have been blessed to work with some great strikers and now I am working with another one. Hopefully I can become one of the best."