By Greg Stobart
Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is at odds with Andre Villas-Boas over his role in the side and has held a second round of crisis talks with the Spurs manager.
The Togolese striker has not started a single game in any competition this season and made his frustration known to Villas-Boas last month, before re-iterating his desire to play more following last weekend’s dreadful home defeat to Wigan.
Adebayor is now likely to make his first start of the campaign in Thursday’s Europa League clash against Maribor.
The former Arsenal man has, however, made it clear he is unhappy having anticipated being Tottenham’s first-choice striker when he completed a permanent €6.25 million move to the club in the summer, only to find himself out of the side with Jermain Defoe preferred in his place.
Villas-Boas explained privately that the 28-year-old was left out in the early part of the season due to concerns about his fitness – plus hamstring and back injuries – and failed to break into the side because of Defoe’s impressive form.
Despite him falling down the pecking order, Villas-Boas hailed Adebayor as one of the best strikers in the world, insisting he will not leave the club in the January transfer window amid rumours of interest from clubs in Spain.
“Adebayor is one of the great strikers of the world,” Villas-Boas said. “Certainly there is no interest in selling or loaning him in January. Unfortunately, it has not been working out for him this season because of injuries, but he is an important player.
“At the moment, we start with Defoe in a system that has given us some rewards, but Ade’s chances will come.”
Adebayor has not asked for a transfer but is a notoriously difficult character to handle, and his dissatisfaction with Villas-Boas will again put the spotlight on the Portuguese coach’s man-management style.
The former Chelsea boss lost his job at Stamford Bridge last season after alienating key members of the dressing room.
And while there are no suggestions of a player revolt at White Hart Lane, Villas-Boas faces a difficult period ahead of Sunday’s trip to Manchester City and the north London derby against Arsenal on November 17.
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