It is just after half-term in the club shop at Stamford Bridge, and a proud father is buying replica jerseys for his children. It is a hefty order. He asks for home and away shirts, bearing the forenames of each child, all four of them, aged between six and the early teens. The dad arranges to have them dispatched to his workplace, Chelsea’s Surrey training ground.

Because Samuel Eto’o arrived in London late in the transfer window, there have been things to catch up on, such as the children’s new blue tops, familiarising himself with a new league, and a language which Eto’o, who comes from the French-speaking part of Cameroon, has never needed to perfect until now. His first two months in the Premier League have left him, he says, “generally quite happy”, though he feels English football has not yet seen the best of him.

He, and Chelsea, would anticipate more goals, for a start. The most consistently brilliant centre-forward of the first decade of the 21st century is accustomed to accumulating more than one every five starts, his record so far for Chelsea. At Barcelona, he averaged three in every four La Liga games; at Inter Milan, a goal every other Serie A match; the same in Russia, from where Chelsea recruited him after two seasons with Anzhi Makhachkala.

But he gleefully points out he is already the owner of one significant milestone, thanks to his goal against Cardiff City. “I’m happy,” he smiles, “because, even coming in late, I was still the first of Chelsea’s strikers to score this season in the Premier League. That gave me a thrill.”

If that suggests a competitive edge to Eto’o’s relationship with Fernando Torres, whose celebrated return to form only yielded his first league goal six days ago, or Demba Ba, it is a healthy joust. He gladly praises Torres, adding only that the idea the Spaniard has suddenly happened on a renaissance is misguided.