Emmanuel Adebayor Returns to Tottenham


Emmanuel Adebayor has finally completed his transfer from Manchester City to Tottenham on a permanent deal for a fee in the region of £5 million. He returns to White Hart Lane where he made 37 appearances last season while on loan, scoring 18 goals. Adebayor is 28 years of age and has played for Togo on 50 occasions, scoring 23 goals. Throughout last season, it was thought unlikely that Adebayor’s stay at Spurs would last any longer than the loan period as his salary expectations were beyond the strict boundaries of the club’s salary structure. Even at the season’s end, however, Adebayor tweeted that he was working hard with the Chairman to reach an agreement. Daniel Levy has used Manchester City’s desire to reduce their wage bill in order to sign other players to his advantage by negotiating a low transfer fee in order to reach a compromise in salary between the club’s previous high point and Adebayor’s reported current salary. It is thought that City will continue to pay the player the difference between his new wage of around £80,000 and his earnings at City. It was first mooted that agreement had been reached in mid-July but the protracted negotiations have been over a bonus loyalty pay-off from Manchester City.

Speaking on the club web-site about his return to Tottenham, Adebayor said,

"“I am pleased to be signing for Spurs on a permanent basis after finally agreeing my departure with Manchester City. It may have taken longer than expected but I am delighted to be back at Tottenham Hotspur. I really enjoyed my time here last season and I am hoping we can achieve great things together again.”"

Emmanuel Adebayor first came to the Premier League in January, 2006 when he joined Arsenal from Monaco for £7 million. He immediately became the ‘scourge’ of Spurs, habitually tormenting Tottenham as he scored eight goals in his time with Arsenal. In all he made over 100 League appearances for Arsenal and scored 46 goals. During his time there he was involved in a number of disciplinary issues, including clashing with Nicklas Bendtner during Tottenham’s 5 – 1 victory in the 2008 Carling Cup semi-final clash at White Hart Lane. He was subjected to much abuse from sections of the Tottenham crowd during every north London derby.

In the summer of 2009 Adebayor moved to Manchester City for £25 million. He scored in his first four games for City but caused considerable controversy in the fourth match which happened to be against his former club. He scored twice and ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal supporters for which he was booked but he later apologised. After the match Robin van Persie accused him of deliberately kicking him in the face and Adebayor was found guilty of violent conduct and suspended. The following season he fell out of favour with Roberto Mancini and in January, 2011 he went on loan to Real Madrid and continued his policy of goals against Spurs, scoring twice in the Champions League quarter-final tie in Madrid.

Tottenham acquired Emmanuel Adebayor on loan from Manchester City for the season in August, 2011, to replace Peter Crouch as a striker who could lead the line and link effectively with the other players. His total of 18 goals and 12 assists showed that he was very effective in what he did for Tottenham last season and his individual contribution to the team effort accounted for 16 of Spurs’ points. He suffered badly from erroneous decisions given against him with goals disallowed for off-side at Stoke City and at home to Chelsea and Wolves. If those had been adjudged correctly Spurs would have been secure in the Champions League next season.

Emmanuel Adebayor is an instinctive player – it is difficult to know what he is going to do on the pitch and so it is hard for other players to link with him. Two areas where Andre Villas-Boas will look for improvement are:

  • his first touch of the ball which can be poor so missing the opportunity for quick movement and passing.
  • his goal count could be so much greater, if he showed a ruthless, clinical touch in front of goal. His stats for last season show a 19% chance conversion – he had ninety shots, 48 on target and scored 17 goals.

The following are two brief extracts from match reports I wrote last season for the Tottenham Spurs in History blog

v Aston Villa (h) –  ‘Spurs then took control and it was two goals from Emmanuel Adebayor which settled the match.  While Adebayor scored twice, it could easily have been six.  His first came after fourteen minutes but he could have already had two by then, having failed to reach a Van der Vaart pass and then missing a header from an Aaron Lennon cross.  His goal came from a corner awarded when a Younes Kaboul shot was deflected wide.  The corner was partially cleared to Bale who sent the ball back in and Adebayor scored with an overhead kick’

v West Bromwich Albion (a) – ‘This is not a repeat of Monday’s report on Adebayor but of his contribution to Tottenham’s victory at The Hawthorns.  However, just as on Monday evening, Adebayor scored twice but could have had many more if he had been clinical in front of goal’.

While the profligate tendency wasn’t a problem in those two matches, on other occasions that lack of clinical finishing from Adebayor and others proved costly.  Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Luka Modric created numerous goal scoring opportunities which weren’t converted. The new laid back Adebayor gave a shrug of his shoulders and a wry smile as yet another chance was missed.

Adebayor’s best match for Tottenham was against Newcastle United at White Hart Lane. He was influential in all that was good for Tottenham that evening, creating the first four goals and scoring the fifth in a 5 – 0 win. Both prior to that match and after it, he was less effective and Spurs’ play and results suffered. It is at times like this that Adebayor looks lethargic and disinterested. Something Villas-Boas will want to avoid, probably through player rotation and more competition within the squad.

As Andre Villas-Boas said when he was appointed, “The distance we have to take to reach success is very short, thankfully because of the work that has been done in the past, which is quality work not only from the previous management, but also the chairman and his vision for the future.”

Spurs showed  what they were capable of last season and with his objective of winning titles, the Head Coach will be looking for more ruthless finishing when players are presented with scoring opportunities and total commitment in all matches – such little things make the difference between success and failure.

The signing of Adebayor is Tottenham’s first step to strengthen the current squad which had Jermain Defoe as the only experienced striker for the opening match of the season at Newcastle. Adebayor should be available for the home match against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, if he is match fit having spent most of the pre-season training with City’s youth players.

Is Emmanuel Adebayor a good signing for Tottenham and can he build on last year’s success at White Hart Lane?