One year on from his £5 million move from the Etihad to White Hart Lane, the Togolese striker Adebayor appears to be the forgotten man. With manager Andre Villas-Boas bringing in Roberto Soldado for £26 million and the preferred formation remaining a 4-3-3 there appears little opportunity for Adebayor who is now firmly the third choice striker behind Soldado and Jermaine Defoe.
The Togo frontman had several opportunities to leave this summer after receiving offers from a host of clubs including QPR, Schalke and Besiktas. Tottenham actively tried to move the player on, inviting interest from these clubs and offering Adebayor to anyone who would take him. The striker though, has decided to stay at Spurs for the foreseeable future.
Adebayor can still be of some worth to Tottenham, particularly in the mid to latter stages of the seasons when injuries and suspensions are sure to hit. At the moment Adebayor is training with the reserves after being granted compassionate leave following the death of his brother this summer, but he appears ready to fight for his place in the first team. He has stated that he realises there are many options in the attacking positions for Tottenham, but argues that “I know at the end I will be the first [choice]” (Source: Telegraph).
It would appear that Adebayor is once again motivated, which is a rarity in itself. If he can maintain this motivation and is genuinely prepared to fight for a position in the team then he will become a valuable asset for Tottenham, he may even have a chance of becoming the first choice which he desires.
The past has shown us that Adebayor can be world class when at the top of his game, but he can only reach these levels when he is motivated or fighting for something. At Arsenal he was phenomenal when attempting to fight for a place in the team and when this was secured he became lazy and lost his edge.
At Manchester City he lost his place and simply did not put the effort into forcing his way back into the manager’s plans, being subsequently loaned to Real Madrid. In Spain Adebayor was rejuvenated as he attempted to earn a contract at the Bernabeu, when this did not happen he ended up at Spurs and was a good performer whilst on loan and again attempting to earn a contract. Once this was earned his motivation appeared to dip alongside his performances, as his goals for Spurs dropped from 17 in the Premier League the previous season just to 10 in all competitions.
At 29 years old, Adebayor does not have as much time to mope around and if he wants to continue playing at the top level he must reinvigorate himself. It is now all down to him to work hard and prove to Andre Villas-Boas that he is worthy of a name on the teamsheet. If Adebayor does apply himself and works hard then it can only be a success for both him and Tottenham.
The club will have three proven goal scorers all battling for one position to choose from and Adebayor will be able to prove himself and enjoy playing regular football rather than sitting on the bench and picking up the wages. After all, playing and enjoying his football should be paramount to every footballer, right?
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