LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Dejected Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on March 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
I've said this several times, but I feel a need to reiterate this: Tottenham Hotspur do not need to spend money on bringing in Emmanuel Adebayor and trying to figure out a way to accomodate his wages. Adebayor has been good for Spurs this season. He has scored 12 goals (in all competitions) and added a further 11 assists. He's one of five people in the top European leagues to have reached double figures in both. However, he is not the striker that Tottenham Hotspur need.
My biggest problem with Adebayor is not his workrate, which is what has often been assailed. In his time at Spurs I have very rarely seen him look lazy or disinterested. My criticisms are two-fold. Adebayor has an awful first touch and his scoring output is below that which his fee and wages should indicate.
How many times this season have we seen balls played in to Adebayor near the box only to see his first touch fall to far away from him for the Togolese striker to turn and shoot? Consider Adebayor's first touch on the break against Chelsea this past weekend. He received a lovely through ball and his first touch took him clear of Peter Cech, but it was too heavy. His touch forced Adebayor wide, cutting down his angle and allowing Gary Cahill to slide in and block Adebayor's shot which would have won the game for Spurs.
I mentioned this on last week's podcast, but has had only one season in which he scored 20 goals or more. Granted that season was an excellent 30 goal season for Arsenal, but it is more of an aberration than anything. In fact, Adebayor has only scored more than 15 goals in a season three times (including the 30 goals season).Let's contrast Adebayor's output with the output of two other strikers that may be available this transfer window: Dimitar Berbatov and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Berbatov, the former Spurs' striker who was oft-maligned for his work rate has managed to score 20 or more goals on six separate occasions and has exceeded 15 goals in nine different seasons. Schalke's Dutch striker, Huntelaar (who recently put contract negotiations on hold), has exceeded 20 goals in six seasons, though all but this season's 40 goal output came in the Eredivisie. Huntelaar has scored 15 or more goals in eight different times.
Given those numbers it is not much of an argument that both strikers are better goal scorers than Emmanuel Adebayor. This is, of course, not to deny Adebayor's skill. He is a proven Premier League striker who has performed well for the club this season. He is, however, not worth the money the club would have to part with in order to retain his services. The problem that we come upon though is that can a 20 goal-scorer be found for less? If one looks at the fees paid for Papiss Demba Cisse and Moussa Sow, it would seem that the answer to that question is yes.
Certainly, Dimitar Berbatov would command similar wages, though perhaps a lower fee. Huntelaar might also command similarly high wages and, coming off a season in which he might score 50 goals, his fee is likely to be astronomical. Lucas Barrios could come cheaper and his goal output is a bit better than Adebayor's. Barrios's teammate Robert Lewandowski is less proven, but should Borussia Dortmund be willing to part with either the young Polish striker would certainly be affordable.
It seems that, lately, Tottenham Hotspur's struggles have come down to an inability to score goals. The striker position was something we all felt the club should have addressed in January and while the addition of Louis Saha has brought the club three additional league goals, but Cisse has scored 5 goals in 6 appearances for Newcastle United and Sow has scored the same number in eight appearances for Fenerbahce.
This season Spurs must make a splash with a big striker signing. That signing, in my opinion, should not be Emmanuel Adebayor, at least if Daniel Levy is interested in adding more goalscoring punch to the club.