Tottenham Hotspur: Will Adebayor Be the One Player Spurs Rue Not Selling?
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It all combined for an unhappy conclusion to what has been a particularly rough summer for the Togo international. As concerning as his career status will be, he also sadly had to deal with a family bereavement.
The compassionate leave Adebayor took following that personal loss left him out of the mix around the time the season started. His lack of involvement since then has made it apparent he is not in Spurs' plans right now.
Or so it seems anyway.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has not gone into much detail (if any) about why Adebayor has fallen out of his favour.
Even with the push to bring in more firepower this summer—notably the signing of Roberto Soldado—Adebayor's almost complete shunning has been surprising.
This after all was a player Villas-Boas was defending, talking up even, as recently as May. He was quoted by ESPN FC's Kevin Palmer as saying:
We were pleased with the number of games that Adebayor played in the end representing what he has done for the team, maybe not the amount of goals that he expected, but he has certainly helped the team be within the frame to achieve our objectives.
Villas-Boas' assessment that Adebayor had enjoyed "an amazing season" was a little over the top and probably a case of him wanting to talk up his player. After taking a long while to get going he had finished the season strongly, helping Spurs to some valuable late points with some key goals as a greater work ethic took hold.
More on the mark was Villas-Boas' reflection the player had "adapted to a new function, a new role."
Adebayor did indeed have to adjust to Tottenham's changing style under the Portuguese. He was not alone here, but his ability to do so was not helped by the lack of a proper preseason.
This time around, Adebayor did at least take in the fitness portion of Spurs' season preparations back in July. What has been lacking again however, is valuable minutes alongside his teammates in actual games—a result of his being outcast.
Should it turn out that Adebayor has truly been cast aside by Villas-Boas, the main regret will be not getting him off the wage bill. Out of sight, out of mind, he is unlikely to cause any real disruption.
If there is a chance he could appear again, the regret might be not keeping him more involved.
Injuries to one or two of Soldado, Jermain Defoe, Harry Kane or (to a slightly lesser extent) Erik Lamela would leave Spurs' attack options limited and having to contemplate calling Adebayor in from the cold.
Albeit in different circumstances, like last season it could leave Villas-Boas having to incorporate a player who is not as familiar with the changes the team has undergone. At least as not as much as he could have been.
The same largely applies to a situation where the skill and physical presence of the 6'3" Adebayor might be deemed useful to the team. Though Kane certainly offers the latter, he has nowhere near the experience of his teammate.
With Spurs' players having to get use to a new look for the team, the last thing it needs in a month or two's time is someone upsetting a balance that may have been achieved.
Villas-Boas may rue not making more of an effort to replace Adebayor with someone he genuinely thought he might use. Though the difficulty of offloading the player he already had evidently hindered that.
Of course it might never get that far. Adebayor's non-involvement might be a complete non-issue.
Either way, it is the latest disappointing installment in a career that has not lived up to the remarkable talent of the man behind it.
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