Realpolitik – No, not the way Madrid go about their business but the diplomatic concept of reality winning over ideology – is what sees Adebayor sign a one-year contract extension, doubling his wages in the process.
In an ideal world Arsenal would have sold Adebayor, or told him to shove his demands, coming as they did only a year or so after his recent contract extension, and in the light of a summer of mixed messages from him that did Arsenal no favours.
But football more than most things is about reality, and the simple fact is Adebayor is a player worth keeping. Yes, he missed a lot of chances last season, but he still scored 30 times. Since when did a player ever score all the chances that came his way? Is it realistic to have expected him to score 50, or 60 goals?
He’s signed on for one more year, which does nothing more than guarantee a good price if and when he, or Arsenal, decide it’s time. So Arsenal are being wise here.
In addition, the player now gets paid a commensurate wage for his ability and status – £70k a week, like it or loathe it, is about right. All the big strikers at the big clubs get that or more. He was never going to get £120k a week – either from us or from Barcelona or Milan – and if he didn’t know it then he knows it now.
Of course, it’s been messy and ugly and my estimation of Adebayor has gone right down. But to me, if we are going to mount a title challenge this season, then we need proven Premier League goalscorers like him, not someone who will take 6 months to settle in. Whether he stays for one season or five is of no real consequence. Put simply, we are stronger with him than we are without him.
That’s the reality.