In a summer of tedious links to every Tottenham Hotspur and former Tottenham Hotspur player Tim Sherwood laid eyes on during his time at White Hart Lane, it does appear that one link that has been ongoing all summer is coming to fruition.
Whilst the Villa first team was at Molineux for a no holds barred friendly, it came to light that nomadic striker Emmanuel Adebayor had been sighted at Bodymoor Heath. At the time of writing, the move is expected to be announced imminently so it turns out the tabloid journalists are, like broken clocks, right sometimes.
The Togolese striker obviously comes with baggage and there are Villa fans who will understandably be unsure about Tim Sherwood bringing him to the club. Despite his age and temperament levels being causes for concern, I am all for the move.
In a summer of upheaval and drastic squad rebuilding, I do think adding Premier League experience to the squad is vital. Sherwood’s signings so far mostly look astute but the bigger signings do not have Premier League experience and the top league in England is a different animal to any other: it’s certainly a different beast to Ligue 1, where most of our new acquisitions have come from.
Emmanuel Adebayor has Premier League experience, having played for some of the top sides in England to date in his career. Having delivered the goods to varying degrees at Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham, he has shown he has considerable ability in front of goal. His all-round game is good when he is on form and although his work rate can be questioned it is not pivotal for a forward. Benteke wasn’t the best at closing down but his other attributes made sure that was not a problem.
With Benteke’s departure, we are in need of someone who can hit the ground running. Although I think the new-look side will be more capable of sharing the goal-scoring burden than Villa teams have done in previous seasons, I do think that, initially, we will need our centre forward to be clinical as the players around him settle in. Kozák has showcased his predatory instincts in pre-season and I believe he probably deserves a shot on day one. If that plan doesn’t work out then Emmanuel Adebayor will undoubtedly find himself as our number nine.
Adebayor is the kind of striker who often hits the ground running at a new club. He certainly got off to a great start at Manchester City and when on loan at Real Madrid I remember him scoring a few vital goals early on. If he has the bit between his teeth and goes out with a point to prove, there is no reason why the Villans can’t get off to a good start, which is vital if we don’t want to spend another season embroiled in a relegation battle. I’m eager for us to hit the forty point mark as soon as possible and no doubt Tim Sherwood is too.
Talking of Sherwood, he is the main reason why I’m keen on Adebayor joining us. Sherwood showed, albeit in a brief spell, that he knows what makes the big striker tick; Adebayor’s record under Sherwood was fantastic. If it were any other manager signing the Togolese forward I would have reservations. I trust Tim Sherwood and it is clear that Tom Fox does too. I don’t think Adebayor would even be considering joining Aston Villa if Sherwood was not in charge.
If it doesn’t work out then it looks like it is only a loan deal. Although his wages will be high, I would expect Spurs to pay a percentage and therefore, for me, signing Adebayor is a risk worth taking. I don’t think there is a player with his pedigree that we could pick up instead and his age could in fact work in our favour, as I expect the likes of Ayew will be keen to learn from his experience.
At the end of the day, only the top players play for the likes of Arsenal and Real Madrid. The move has its risks but the rewards it could bring could determine what kind of season Aston Villa Football Club enjoys. I don’t think Benteke can ever be replaced: he was a one off in terms of all-round game. However, I’d wager that Emmanuel Adebayor on form can get close. Tim Sherwood obviously believes in him so let’s see what happens.