Aston Villa’s season is ebbing away. One win – way back on the opening day of the league campaign – has been the only highlight of the Midlands side’s 20 matches, leaving them staring at life outside of the Premier League for the first time.
Alas, the optimism in FFC Towers has not quite died out, and in this craziest of crazy seasons anything is possible – Leicester remain in the title race, after all. However, something needs to be done to quell the misery at Villa Park, and although it would be a risky move, perhaps luring Emmanuel Adabayor out of his somewhat self-imposed exile could work.
The Togolese striker, who was linked with a move to Villa during the Tim Sherwood era, was released by Spurs after the close of the summer transfer window, and has since been unable to join another side due to the red tape that so often haunts transfer dealings.
Okay, the 31-year-old may be a little unfit, he may have a questionable mentality and he’s likely to ask for a considerable salary, but he could be the double six Villa need with their last roll of the dice…
Well, where are Aston Villa’s goals coming from? Unsurprisingly, the rock-bottom Villans are the lowest scorers in the Premier League with just 16 to their name, which has contributed heavily to their -21 goal difference – the lowest in the division.
Jordan Ayew is the current top scorer with five, but there is a feeling that the Ghanaian is better cutting in from the left flank, so that leaves the claret and blue side without a real presence up front, other than the immobile Rudy Gestede – he has only netted twice in the league since the opening day of the season!
Aside from the aforementioned duo, only Carles Gil and Scott Sinclair have scored more than once in the league, while centre-back Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott (one apiece) have outscored the likes of Adama Traore and Gabby Agbonlahor.
We may only be at the halfway point of the season (one game over, to be precise), but many are already predicting Villa slipping into the Championship.
And it’s easy to see why, with the Midlanders having notched just one win – on the opening day of the season – which leaves them a staggering 11 points off of safety.
Despite the fact that they’ve amassed just eight points in over 50% of their games, there is still time on the clock, and in this topsy-turvy season three wins on the trot, although unlikely, remains possible, and a haul of nine points would suddenly change the look of the table. Fellow relegation zone-dwellers Newcastle notched back-to-back victories against Liverpool and Spurs last month, so anything is possible.
And with a striker able to put the ball in the back of the net, who knows what could happen.
Like or loathe Adebayor, he has a proven record in the Premier League.
Spells with Arsenal, Manchester City and Spurs brought close to 100 goals in 230 league appearances, averaging out at almost one every other game, so going by that reckoning
Villa would be able to reasonably expect around seven to eight goals from the Togolese forward between now and the end of the season, which could make the difference considering their current top scorer has just five.
Adebayor’s biggest problem has been his short-termism, but this sort of quick impact is just what Villa need.
There’s no doubt that the clock is ticking, so an instant impact would be ideal. Throughout his career Adebayor has specialised in scoring goals when he needs them, with his gluts often coming when he’s either just signed for a club or is fighting for a new contract, and both situations could collide at Villa Park if he’s handed a six-month deal.
One issue, though, could be his half-season without a club.
Gestede was mooted as the man to fill the sizable void left by Benteke’s £32.5m move to Liverpool, but the Benin international, although almost unbeatable in the air, has shown that he somewhat lacks he movement and mobility to be an all-round threat, as his Belgian predecessor was.
Although not as mobile as the now Anfield man himself, Adebayor has a little more to his game than a prolific record from crosses and set-pieces, which may be needed if Villa are to drag themselves clear of the trapdoor.