Barcelona's decision to keep hold of Samuel Eto'o has received the thumbs up from Lionel Messi, who believes the Cameroon international is a guarantee for goals.
Eto'o looked set to leave the Nou Camp this summer after being told by new coach Pep Guardiola that neither he nor fellow senior stars Ronaldinho and Deco had a future at the club.
However, after an impressive pre-season in which Eto'o scored five goals in four friendlies, Guardiola this week reversed his decision to let the 27-year-old leave and announced the striker would remain at the club for the coming season.
It is a decision that has gone down well with Barca schemer Messi, who admits having someone like Eto'o in the team makes it easier for a playmaker like him.
'He is the striker who guarantees more goals per season, he has already shown that at Barcelona and before at Mallorca,' said Messi from China where he is representing Argentina in the Olympic Games.
'We need a 'number nine' like that and this striker is already ours, we don't have to sign one. Without a striker of quality it is difficult for a 'number 10' and Samu has that. Many names have been mentioned but everybody knows that Eto'o is a guaranteed goalscorer.'
Eto'o responded to his Barca recall by netting twice in Wednesday's 4-0 Champions League qualifying round victory over Wisla Krakow at the Nou Camp - a performance that earned the African a warm reception from the home fans.
Messi added in El Mundo Deportivo: 'A message for him: 'Samu, you are great'. I saw the goals on television and I'm pleased that the fans applauded him.'