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The Curious Case of Emmanuel Adebayor

Written by Sam Hopkinson

With the news that Adebayor is on the cusp of signing on loan for Aston Villa, a decision needs to be made for your fantasy team—is this going to be a case of unplayable brilliance, or a disinterested clown? Ade could be a bargain at the right price.

As has been repeated ad nauseam, Adebayor tends to play best when his wallet is on the line—that is, in a contract year. However, that’s possibly one of those things football fans say to fill space with bullshit. His record isn’t amazing, but he has scored goals wherever he’s played. His last two loans went well too—at Real Madrid he scored 8 times in 22 appearances, at Tottenham he struck 18 times in 37. Either way, Aston Villa are clearly doubling up to be safe, getting him on a loan and in the last year of his contract. So he’s on course to win the Golden Boot this season, right?

In their favour, Villa have also got the last man to get the best out of the Togolese, Timothy ‘Suffer-not-tactics’ Sherwood. Widely credited with revitalising Ade last season, Sherwood managed to squeeze goals out of a discarded player, and would be expected to do so again. However, Ade didn’t do it alone—he had the likes of Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli helping him out. This time around, he’ll be joining a team who were lucky to escape relegation and have just lost their two best players. The jury is still out on Sherwood’s managerial nous, and this will be his first full season in charge of any team, never mind Villa. Simply saluting players probably isn’t going to cut it.

That said, you’d still feel confident of Sherwood inspiring Ade to score a few just as a thank-you for showing faith in him. Unfortunately, it’s been a long year for Adebayor since their last collaboration, one that has seen his family issues aired in public. Bizarre online posts, accusations and money-grabbing relatives paint the picture of a man who is struggling personally as well as professionally. Tottenham granted him compassionate leave to allow his mental health to recover after he recently admitted to contemplating suicide. Some are wondering if Ade’s career might be petering out in light of these revelations that the striker has apparently kept to himself for years.

Fantasy players have been burned by Ade’s inclusion in their teams before. Following his fantastic loan season at Spurs, it was expected that he would at least be able to win a few points after being signed permanently. He came up against the stubborn and inflexible AVB though, who seems to suffer from cocklaphobia and Adebayor was banished (his performances were also pretty average).

The critique most pundits sputter out during their interminable ‘discussions’ is that Adebayor is inconsistent. So are Villa getting a fallen superstar or a divisive charlatan? Maybe just flip a coin.

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About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn’t have football, he’d probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.