With Jermain Defoe on his way out, and Ryan Nelsen no longer the manager for Toronto FC, it appeared the club's big club/little club partnership with Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League was over. Today, however, shortly after learning that Defoe will be training with his former London club in an effort to stay fit for his impending Premier League transfer, it was revealed that Toronto's relationship with Tottenham may not be done quite yet.
Toronto FC are one of the Major League Soccer clubs linked with striker Emmanuel Adebayor as the search for a replacement for the aforementioned Defoe continues. If reports of the club's interest are true, it could be their backup plan should they miss out on American international Jozy Altidore. It was revealed yesterday that they are one of three clubs, New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers being the others, chasing the American's signature.
As for Abedayor, any number of clubs could be in on him should he be interested in coming to Major League Soccer. While reports of his interest in the league seem more concrete, the league's website recently reported on it after The Times broke the story this morning, any link with Toronto FC at this point seems only to be based on speculation, as the other club speculated is the New York Red Bulls. At times you wonder how many MLS clubs the English press actually know as it always tends to be the same ones mentioned.
Adebayor's recent past with Tottenham, and potentially the cause for his interest in America, is the fact that he has lost his spot with the club to new club hero Harry Kane. The 30-year-old has played 10 matches in all competitions this season with Tottenham, scoring 2 goals in that time. He has also been reportedly dealing with personal issues, and missed a number of games for the London club recently to fly home.
While Adebayor has been notorious for his scoring abilities, they have gone by the wayside as of late. After scoring 13 goals in his first season with Tottenham he has struggled to find the back of the net. Overall, however, he continues to be a dangerous goalscorer at every level in which he plays, with 134 career goals in 361 games with Metz, Monaco, Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Tottenham.
As notorious as he is for goals, however, Adebayor tends to have a nasty reputation in terms of behaviour. After how things turned out with Defoe this past season he would hardly be the media darling that Toronto are looking for to smooth things over. Instead, one could only assume that it would be like the Defoe situation, only a heck of a lot more public.
Would he score goals? Sure. But how long would that last and would it be in place of dressing room chemistry. Whether or not he was always the most committed guy to the team, there was always a sense that the guys in the Toronto FC room really did like Defoe. Off the pitch he did seem like a decent guy in the room, none of them have had a bad word to say about him yet.
From what the rumours have been about Adebayor, the kind of behaviour that Defoe was criticized openly for this season would be an improvement by the Togolese forward's standards. A lack of loyalty? He has played for three different massive rivals in England and famously celebrated in front of Arsenal fans after scoring against them with Manchester City. Defoe was called disloyal because he went to another country to seek medical attention.
Should this happen it will either go one of two ways. Adebayor comes to Toronto and scores a boatload of goals and his attitude issues become a secondary narrative because his success on the pitch is way more relevant. Secondly, he comes here and his attitude issues are twice the detriment to this team than Defoe's perceived issues were.
If Toronto learned anything from what happened with Defoe, Adebayor is probably worth steering clear of if the team wants to take a step forward both in public eyes and on the field.