It is a deal that is a big as Ronaldo and Kaka both going to Real Madrid. Champions League holders Barcelona sent Samual Eto’o over €43 million plus the services of Aliaksandr Hleb to Inter Milan for forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
With Eto valued at 20million euros, plus the news that Inter will have the chance to buy Hleb for an initial 10million euros once his season-long loan spell is concluded, that values this trade at around €73 million.
This is a huge deal for both teams. For Barcelona they run the risk of upsetting the chemistry on a squad that won everything last year. But they have seen bitter rivals Real Madrid grab the headlines this summer with their spectacular signings and they had to do something to grab back the spotlight.
What I cannot understand is why Barcelona did this deal. The two forwards are about the same age, but Eto’o had a phenomenal goal return for Barca, scoring 108 times in 145 games. In all competitions last season he notched 39 in 49 matches.
Ibrahimovic is also coming off the back of a prolific campaign, with 28 in 38 games domestically, which won him Serie A’s Footballer or the Year award.
The big knock against Ibrahimovic is that he doesn’t score on the big stage. Eto’o has a much better goal scoring ratio in both Champions League and International football than Ibra.
For Inter, summer signing’s Eto’o and Militio both bring a lot of pace to Inter’s attack and this could be useful in the Champions League where Mourinho will be able to reply on his favorite tactic of counter-attack football.