Emmanuel Adebayor ready to hit the ground running at Crystal Palace
Published 26/01/2016 | 17:46
Striker Emmanuel Adebayor is confident he will have little difficulty getting back up to match speed to help Crystal Palace kick-start their Barclays Premier League campaign.
The 31-year-old former Togo frontman was released from his contract at Tottenham in September, and has joined the Eagles until the end of the season.
Adebayor last played in the Premier League on May 3 2015, when he made a late substitute appearance against Manchester City, one of his former clubs.
Since leaving White Hart Lane, Adebayor has been continuing his own personal training programme while in Africa in a bid to remain sharp ahead of any potential move, which is expected to see some of the reported £100,000-a-week wages for which Tottenham were still liable under the terms of his contract offset following the Palace deal.
Adebayor believes he can now hit the ground running at his new team, which has failed to find the net in the l ast six league matches - and that he could even be in contention for a debut in the FA Cup fourth round tie against Stoke.
"I will have a good chat with the manager to see where my fitness level is at," Adebayor said in an interview to the club's official website, www.cpfc.co.uk.
"I have been working out every day and played a lot of games in Africa. It is not the same level, but the way I played it I played as if I was playing in the Premier League. Maybe Saturday, maybe Tuesday night, maybe next weekend, we will all know where I am."
The striker added: "Is it going to be hard? I don't think so. I just have to get out there, play my football and enjoy myself again."
Adebayor first moved to the Premier League when he joined Arsenal from French side Monaco, and left for Manchester City in a £25million deal during the summer of 2009 before loan spells at Real Madrid and Spurs ahead of his permanent switch to White Hart Lane in August 2012.
The forward's arrival will give Eagles boss Pardew some much-needed cover in attack, with the likes of Dwight Gayle and Yannick Bolasie both struggling for match-fitness while Connor Wickham is facing a potential three-match suspension after being charged by the Football Association for an alleged elbow in the face of Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen.
Adebayor brings with him a record of 96 goals in 230 Premier League appearances so far.
"We had a chat and he (Pardew) knows me because I had the chance to play against (his teams) many times," he said.
"I will have to see (what happens at) the training ground, but obviously I know a lot of the players already. I will have to figure out how the team is playing, and have to adapt myself to it. Obviously I have been around the block, so that will not be hard to do."
Adebayor decided against joining Aston Villa during the summer, while West Ham and Watford were also said to be keen on recruiting the forward on a short-term basis.
The striker revealed the chance to live and play again in London was a big part of his decision to sign for the Eagles.
"I chose Palace because my family are happy in London. Palace have been playing the football I like and they have a few players who are my friends," he said.
"Personally I don't have anything to achieve. I am going to go for the team, whatever the team wants to achieve, I will follow them, and help them win games.
"We have a lot of big games to play, so let's get out there and enjoy ourselves everyone...... so let me laugh, enjoy myself and hopefully I can bring that into the dressing room, the team will follow and we will get where we want to get to."