Chelsea have signed 17-year-old Cameroonian striker Gael Etock, formerly of Barcelona, to a four year contract following his departure from La Masia after spending five years at the world-renowned Barcelona academy. Etock was out of contract following his time at La Masia, but the Blues will have to pay a nominal fee in line for FIFA regulations for players of that age. AS are reporting that he'll be dispatched to Sporting Lisbon on loan immediately after his 18th birthday (on July 5th) and spend at least a year in Portugal to get some football under his belt before coming to London.
Which is all well and good, but who exactly is he? Details are a little bit hazy, but anyone who's spent five years at Barcelona isn't going to be terrible. Etock went to the Catalan club with the Samuel Eto'o foundation and seems to share his compatriot's predatory instincts (standard highlight caveats apply):
I'd guess that he could play outside left, but would be most comfortable as a true centre forward, but we won't really know what we have on our hands until he gets some time in the Primeira Liga, but if he's good enough for Chelsea to sign to a four-year deal then I'm happy enough. Etock will now qualify as a home-grown player should he eventually make the first team.
I believe, incidentally, that Chelsea now have the finest collection of football prospects named 'Gael' that the world has ever seen.