Michael Emenalo
Emenalo says Eto\'o was not a last resort.

Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo says the signing of Samuel Eto'o was not a desperate attempt to make up for the disappointment of missing out on Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.

Manager Jose Mourinho made no secret of his pursuit of the England international who handed in a transfer request at Old Trafford at the end of last season only to stay with the Premier League champions upon the appointment of David Moyes.

United remained unmoved in their declaration that Rooney was not for sale, leaving Chelsea to seek alternative targets eventually taking advantage of the fire sale at Anzhi Makhachkala to sign Eto'o, whom Mourinho had worked with while winning the treble with Inter Milan.

The addition of the Cameroon striker forced Romelu Lukaku to join Everton on loan, while Demba Ba almost moved to Arsenal on a season-long deal before Mourinho halted the move.

Despite seemingly changing targets towards the end of the summer transfer window, Emenalo says the signing of Eto'o was not a desperate move in the Blues' attempts to add to their artillery, insisting the 32 year old's experience is a vital component of Mourinho's squad.

"In the case of Samuel Eto'o, it was an open secret that we wanted Wayne Rooney and I don't need to explain what the idea is behind wanting a player like Rooney," Emenalo told Chelsea's official website.

"But we are not desperate and we know for the future we have Romelu Lukaku and incredible hope that he will come through and lead the line. People keep forgetting that he is only 20 and looking at the short-term plan, we don't want to put too much pressure on a young player like him.

'So if we weren't able to get Rooney and we had Lukaku, Ba and Torres, we felt comfortable with them but we also felt comfortable to bring Eto'o to give us a little bit of competition, because we wanted to freshen up that position.

"We have every confidence in Torres, Ba and Lukaku but with Eto'o we have bought experience."

Emenalo moved to Stamford Bridge in 2007 but was promoted into the technical director breach in July 2011 and assists in Chelsea's operations in the transfer windows as well as youth development.

In both of the full season's that Emenalo has overseen the club's academy Chelsea have reached the FA Youth Cup final, beating Blackburn Rovers in 2012 before suffering defeat to Norwich City earlier this year while the club also reached the NextGen Series final last season.

And the ex-Nigerian international is happy with the progress made at youth level.

"When I came here six years ago we had great players but what we had below those great players were players too young and too far apart to be able to integrate them," he added. "Now we have great players and they are not so far apart.

"Now we have a player like Frank Lampard at 35 but then we have quality players in Ramires, John Mike Obi, Michael Essien and Marco van Ginkel, and then we have from the Academy young players who can come in and do the job like Nathaniel Chalobah and Josh McEachran.

"We are trying to bridge the gap and at left-back now behind Ashley Cole we have Ryan Bertrand but we also have Patrick van Aanholt.

"We have Rommel Lukaku who soon will be able to come back in and Juan Mata is 25, Oscar and Hazard are 22 but behind them from the Academy, in terms of age, Lewis Baker, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jeremie Boga are not too far away.

"By the time those older guys are 27, the younger ones will be around 22 and ready. The gap is not too big and that makes it easier to bring through young players.'