Arsenal have now confirmed
the signing of the second exciting young player of the day.
Emmanuel Adebayor is a 21 year old Togalese striker, and he's joined us from
Monaco ("long term contract, undisclosed fee"). He will join the squad after
the African Nations Cup, and take the number 25 shirt formerly worn by
our last African striker, Kanu.
Adebayor will be featuring on the biggest stage of all in the summer,
having helped Togo qualify for the World Cup finals (for the first time
ever), with 11 goals in their qualifying group (the most in the whole of
Africa). Potentially, it's another classic Wenger master-stroke, since the
chances are that Adebayor's price will have been somewhat higher following
He's a couple of years older and a lot more experienced than
having been a regular for Monaco for the last 3 seasons. He scored an impressive
13 league goals 2 seasons ago. Before that
he spent a couple of seasons for Metz where he made his senior debut at
the age of 17. Unlike
Diaby, he definitely is cup-tied for the Champs League. Shame,
because he's got experience in that arena too, having helped Monaco
to the final in 2004. The official site has an Adebayor factfile,
and also an appraisal of both of
today's signings by a French football writer.
Adebayor is tall and athletic, but breaks the Wenger striker mould not only by being
known for being good in the air but also by being very much a tradiotnal centre-forward, rather
than the type that likes to drop deep or to the wings (like all the rest of our
attacking players!). Mind you, it wouldn't be unheard of for Wenger to effect
some kind of transformation!
Adebayor's full name is Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor, but like Diaby he's known by
the second name. One word of warning: he's got a reputation as a
bit of a trouble-maker, and Monaco are selling partly because of a falling-out. He failed to report for training after the winter break, choosing to join the Togo squad early instead. Wenger certainly won't be keen on this, and the fact that we'll be losing another player to the African Nations Cup each January made many pundits (including this one) sceptical about the likelihood of this signing.
Incidentally, the BBC site is pretty good for
African Nations Cup coverage.