Emmanuel Adebayor may not be making as many friends as he’d like on his journey as a nomadic striker. But does the early form he showed for Spurs suggest that here is a striker to help launch the club onto the next level beyond this season?
Adebayor’s season started brightly for Spurs, in much the same way that it had done for his previous clubs. Here was a player who in the past had completed a loan spell at Real Madrid; had signed for Manchester City in a big money £25 million transfer, and had the spectacular 30 goal season for Arsenal in 2007/08 to his name. Regardless of where his allegiances lay prior to this season, it appeared that Spurs had finally landed that powerful front man to take them onto the next level.
The problem with signing a player like Adebayor—specifically due to his parent club being Manchester City—is the need to weigh in heavily with the wages he was on while playing at the Etihad Stadium. He has shown that he has the talent and ability to be a player on well over £100,000 a week. However, his consistency raises the question as to whether it’s worth the gamble.
Games such as Liverpool and Newcastle at White Hart Line suggested that here was a player who was capable of being a threat and providing in the goals and assists column. But much like Tottenham’s form over the past few months, Adebayor’s productivity has sharply declined.
Harry Redknapp has backed his starting striker by claiming that the player has performed well in training and given him no trouble since arriving in the summer. The thing with Adebayor, however, is that he can’t be counted on to stay settled for a prolonged period of time.
His move to Manchester City seems a distant memory from his flurry of goals at the start of his City career, despite, of course, still being on the club’s books. While these short-term loan spells of Spurs and Madrid seem to suit Adebayor much more.
The great upside to the player is that there are very few like him in the Premier League: a powerful, quick, natural goal scorer. His dynamics in front of goal means he’s capable of contributing in a greater capacity than just a goal poacher. And again, his early partnership with Louis Saha looked hugely promising.
The gamble in giving a player of Adebayor’s personality an extended contract is the knowledge that another club will eventually come calling and the player’s head will be turned. Despite Redknapp’s claims of a settled player, he can be a disruptive influence. His relationship with a number of Arsenal players turned sour very quickly, and due to the large wages he’d command, the bad might outweigh the good.
There’s no doubt that if he can prove to be a positive and settled influence, Adebayor can be a great weapon for any club looking to make strides on bigger stages in the coming seasons. The alternative, however, is that there are players who are capable of offering similar attributes but with wages on a much smaller scale.
At this stage, does Adebayor represent a good investment for Spurs to break their incredibly firm stance on wages?