It has been a common viewpoint over the past couple of seasons that Tottenham were just a top class striker away from being title contenders. The rest of the ingredients were there, the only thing that was missing was a man able to make the most of the chances that were being created in abundance from, perhaps, the most exciting midfield in the Premier League.
Emmanuel Adebayor has been that man this season, weighing in with 10 goals and assists already. The only issue for Spurs remains can they hold onto the Togolese target man beyond the summer, with his loan deal from rivals Manchester City due to expire at the end of the season.
Adebayor is rumoured to be keen to turn his loan into a permanent transfer at the end of the current campaign, thanks to his relationship with manager Harry Redknapp, who he says has recaptured his desire for the game. The striker told the Evening Standard:
“It’s always special to have a manager like this and I’ve got my confidence back and my life back,
“I came here to help the team get into the top four and I think I’m doing quite well at the moment.
“We all play football to gain money, too, especially as I’m from Africa and I have to give something back to my community. I’ve been doing a lot of charity work, I’m taking my own wages to do it and I will continue to do that until the end of my career.
“I’ll leave it to Harry Redknapp, Daniel Levy and (City chairman) Khaldoon Al Mubarak to find a solution among themselves.
“I have to enjoy myself on the pitch and they have to do the paperwork.”
The 27-year-old currently picks up wages in the region of £170,000-per-week on his mega-contract at City, with Tottenham paying around half of that amount during his spell in North London. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would be willing to continue with that figure to keep him at the club permanently, but it remains unclear as to whether the striker would be willing to take a 50% pay cut.
Keeping Adebayor is a must for Spurs if they are to signal their intent at a title push next season. He has been a key part of the attacking set-up at White Hart Lane, getting the best out of whoever he partners, and giving the team a physical presence in the final third. The striker has been paired with Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Louis Saha this term, linking with each to great effect, as well as being adept as a lone front man with Rafael van der Vaart in support. Allowing him to leave would be a backward step for the club, who would struggle to find a proven replacement for a similar transfer fee over the summer.
Another issue could be ‘Arry’s long-term commitment to the club, in light of the availability of the England job. If offered the position, it’s likely that Redknapp would find it too tempting an offer to refuse, placing doubt over Adebayor’s willingness to commit to a permanent deal. He has already stated the effect that his new coach has had on his game, and the threat of a another manager and new system could deter Adebayor.
The Togo International will not be short of potential suitors this summer due to the quality of his performances. The Qatari backed duo of Malaga and Paris Saint-Germain are rumoured to be interested in the front-man, and would be able to match his current payload, plus there is supposed interest from some of Italy’s big clubs.
Spurs face a battle to keep hold of their on-loan striker, but if they are willing to put their money where their mouth is, it would almost certainly be a wise investment, with the Togo man enjoying his football at White Hart Lane.
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