There are times when it would be nice if a rumour would just quickly go away, staying consigned to its first few dubious mentions before slinking away. No such luck this time, as the Telegraph's suggestion late yesterday that Liverpool were considering Samuel Eto'o has now been picked up by nearly every paper across the land.
Eto'o, it would seem, has two things going for him. First, the 33-year-old would come cheap, having been released by Chelsea at the end of last season and being in discussion to make the switch to Ajax in the Eredivisie. Second, he has experience and a track record, having scored over 300 goals in more than 600 career appearances.
The flip side, of course, is that Chelsea didn't see his goal return—which dropped to a goal in every three appearances after a career of scoring one in two—as worth the headache of keeping him around for another season. At times he complained about his teammates and his playing time, while he clearly lacked mobility and showed no workrate without the ball.
He also quickly fell out with Jose Mourinho, something that has happened previously with Eto'o and his managers. He has gotten into trouble with the Cameroonian national team on multiple occasions. He also famously fell out with Pep Guardiola, calling him a coward and refusing to listen to him in training.
"I didn't want to speak to Guardiola until he had apologised," Eto'o once said of his his falling out with the manager while both were at Barcelona. "I spoke to him two times. Pep wanted to give me lessons on how to be a striker, but he was a midfielder. Pep told me how to move like a striker. I told him: 'You're not normal!'"
So. He'd be relatively cheap. And has experience. He's also an ageing, slowing player who has a poor off-the-ball workrate and has fallen out with managers at every stop in his career—including refusing to take instruction on how to play as a striker from one because that manager hadn't been a striker during his playing career.
The best case scenario is Eto'o and his agent are the ones linking him. The worst case scenario is that Liverpool have failed to land Plan A through Plan Y and are now desperately scrambling to line up Plan Z, because if there's one word to describe replacing Luis Suarez with Samuel Eto'o, that would be it: desperate.