Many were sceptical about signing Emmanuel Adebayor in the summer, even if it is only on loan. Here is a player who has plied his trade for Arsenal and known to be a disruptive influence in any dressing room he has been in. On the other hand, however, the Togolese man is exactly what Tottenham have been crying out for, a world class number 9 with pace, strength and a knack for knowing where the back of the net is.
Spurs fans would have to wait a further two weeks after his signing to witness him in action, due to the international break, but when they did, the signs of a top, top striker the club had been crying out for since Dimitar Berbatov left in 2008 were clearly evident.
Getting himself on the score-sheet in the 2-0 win over Wolves while giving Mick McCarthy’s side a troublesome day in the office was more than enough to convince fans he was the right man to lead the Spurs front-line. His next two goals came a week later in the 4-0 rout over Liverpool and even though he only managed goals four and five on Monday night, is hard work ethic and, effectively, defending from the front is exactly what Spurs have been craving for some time.
He could have had more than his brace against Villa on Monday but his movement off the ball and willingness to track back was excellent to see from a player some have labelled a liability in the past. But will he keep up his high standards if his temporary move is turned into a permanent one?
It is well documented that, when Adebayor settles at a club, he tends to go off the boil some-what. The same happened at Manchester City and many fans are worried that the same would happen again should Daniel Levy stump up a high enough transfer fee to snare him away from the Citizens.
The player himself even admitted he would be interested in making his move to White Hart Lane a permanent one at the end of the season, confessing he feels at home back in North London despite only being there for three months. However, even if the two teams can agree a fee, a further stumbling block would indeed be the players’ wages.
On a reported £175k-a-week, with City subsidising £100k of that during his stint with Spurs, the club would have to smash their wage budget, currently maxing out at a reported £70k-per-week, although that could be pushed to £100k should Luka Modric sign a new deal with the club.
There is also the possibility that City may want the striker back at the Etihad stadium ready for the new season. With the uncertainty of Carlos Tevez’s future, and the likelihood the Argentinean will be sold sooner rather than later, City already have a replacement for the AWOL front-man in Adebayor. His displays would not have gone un-noticed with Roberto Mancini and the Citizens hierarchy, who may feel he does have a future back in Manchester, even if the 27-year-old doesn’t feel welcome back at his parent club.
Nevertheless, if Spurs really were desperate to secure his long-term signature, then Levy would simply go all out to keep him at White Hart Lane beyond the end of the current campaign. Kudos to the chairman for ensuring City subsidise a majority of his wages during his stay but it would take the very best of Levy’s negotiation skills to influence Adebayor into staying at Spurs, albeit, for a potential pay-cut, a pay-cut that would hinder his charity work back in Africa.
One way to cover the wage problem would be to give him a larger signing-on fee, but it is highly unlikely Levy would sanction such a move. Then again, he did give the go-ahead for Parker, despite the FWA Player of the Year having just turned 31 and, potentially, having no sell-on value. All in all, it appears as though the wages may be the stumbling block in any future transfer. Nevertheless, if the Spurs wage limit is increased, and should the club reach the Champions League again next year it is more than likely to happen, then who knows whether a deal could be struck between all three parties.
But, as mentioned previously, it is imperative Adebayor continues his impressive form for the club. There is the massive risk that he could only be playing so well to secure a lucrative deal before becoming too comfortable in his new surroundings. If his form is still the same heading into the new year, than absolutely a deal running beyond this season is a must. Either way, Spurs still need a secure a new striker, preferably in January, even if Adebayor signs permanently which, should his form continue, is an absolute must.