What now for Emmanuel Adebayor?

Emmanuel Adebayor playing for Tottenham

Emmanuel Adebayor was offered a lifeline on transfer deadline day of a move to Crystal Palace or QPR and turned both down when the chance of a better move to high-flying West Ham emerged. Then just as the striker was checking his A-Z of London, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy threw his toys out of the pram and scuppered the move with the Hammers because of a personal grudge.

That grudge, allegedly, stretched back to when West Ham secured use of the Olympic Stadium. For his part Levy had agreed to fund the bulk of Adebayor’s wages if he had gone to Loftus Road or Selhurst Park, in fact ANY other club would have been helped by Levy to fund the forward’s move, except West Ham.

Interestingly, and bearing in mind Emmanuel’s track record for indolence and lethargy, Niall Quinn discussing the potential move on television said that if Adebayor did go to Upton Park, that he would be expected to ‘put in a shift’ by Sam Allardyce. It was also alluded to that if QPR were his destination, the now ex QPR manager Harry Redknapp would, effectively ‘excuse’ Adebayor’s legendary apathy on a football field in return for goals. In the end he stays in the shadows at White Hart Lane, so what next?

My personal view is that Emmanuel Adebayor will end up playing his football abroad, and remember he is no spring chicken, he’s 31 this month. His ‘style of play’ shall we call it to be polite would be more suited to the pace of Serie A or La Liga or, and here’s a shot in the dark, the money rich football world of the Middle East or maybe even his first club Monaco.

After nine years in the Premier League everyone, except Emmanuel, knows what his game is about, what you will get from him and what you will not. In fact he is the classic ‘a man is three men’. There is who everyone thinks he is, who he thinks he is and who he really is.

Mauricio PochettinoLet’s be honest and fair about this. With a tally of over a hundred goals, at a scoring ratio of just less than a goal every two games in the Premier League, his stats indicate he is in the top group as far as strikers go and for his country he has a scoring record, again just less than one in two, of 29 goals in 63 appearances. But no team is every going to get  ‘a shift’ out of him.

Emmanuel Adebayor is a luxury player and there are less and less teams, especially in the top flight, who are prepared to carry a player like that for the occasional flash of brilliance or a goal, ask Mario Balotelli at Liverpool.

So, what next for the player? – and therein lies the clue, in the word player. Either he has to change his character, pictures of a leopard spring into the mind at this point, or he has to hope against hope there is a club out there prepared to satisfy his very high wage expectation, to get the player and character everyone sees him as.

Of course he might just get his act together and in his remaining time at Tottenham prove he is worthy of a place in the team. A team that is at long last starting to alter observers’ perception of them and genuinely regarding them as a top Premier League club challenging for Champions League places and trophies.

Over to you Emmanuel.

By
Longest serving freelance football reporter for Sky Sports, 1,000+ games. Author of Breedon Book of Premiership Records and Three Lions.
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