I, like many Arsenal fans, sit on the fence when it comes to Adebayor. Do I think he is a untalented, lucky, ungrateful so and so – no, I do not. The player is obviously talented – he has all the attributes required of a modern day footballer. He has pace, has trickery, has guile, has determined and has a high work-rate. He has the ability to create something out of nothing – such as the goal against Sp*rs last year and the goal against Villareal this.
Now, replace “has” in the previous paragraph with “had”, and you have the Adebayor than so publicly disappointed this season. An Adebayor who threw his toys out of the pram and demanded a pay rise and / or to leave the club despite only have one high scoring season. Having been linked with Milan and Barcelona last season – even though neither club actually made a bid for the Togan International – he publicly courted the clubs and was frivolous in his statements. One minute staying, one minute going and throwing the loyalty and patience shown by the club and manager back in their faces.
Some may say this critism or any criticism is harsh – the player himself says the stories are fabricated – but there is another element to the whole thing – and that’s the “agent” – the agent who met with Milan and Barcelona and confirmed to the clubs that the player was available and would like to move. The agent who made the statements last season that many attribute to Adebayor. Ade has been booed this season – why? because the fans feel betrayed – they feel cheated.
And it’s that very agent that as soon as the season has finished, is back in the news.
“I met the Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger yesterday but we did not talk about selling him because at the moment there are no significant offers. The Milan directors have not contacted me. Yes, there are many other offers, but I repeat that at the moment there are no interesting offers for Emmanuel. What would I do if Milan called? I don’t like talking about hypotheses, it’s not right at this moment. Ade is an Arsenal player.”
But the difference is that Adebayor is one year into his three years of Article 13 – which implies the power is in the hands of the club. If we do sell Ade, it will be for a higher fee than we could have demanded last season – and if you think reports of £30m were correct last season, then you’ll be mistaken – in reality, Adebayor’s offers would have come in the region of £15m last season – but with the exchange rate in our favour for selling to Europe, a fee of £20m+ is more probable this year.
Do not get me wrong – deep down, I would like Adebayor to remain a player – if he wants to.
He has undoubted qualities – and if plays with his heart, with his work rate that got him there – if he plays with the focus that he’s once showed, then he can be a great asset for us, in what seems to be an injured prone squad. But the question is… if he wants to – because if he plays “anyway” when his heart is not in it, then we’ll have the player who let the Champions League semi-finals fly past him, the player who was offside more than any other player in Europe and the player who berates the fans and vice versa.
There is one tough decision, but it lies in the hands of two people – Arsene Wenger and Emmanuel Adebayor. The decision will define both of there futures. Sort it out and have the old Adebayor back and firing on all cylinders or end the relationship and part ways. Breaking up is hard to do, and sometimes the bit in between the break up and the relationship is the hardest.
The choice is yours.