Adebayor out in the cold as Villas-Boas sends him to reserves
Andre Villas-Boas has ordered Emmanuel Adebayor to train with Tottenham's reserves.
Roberto Soldado has become Spurs' number one striker following his £26million move from Valencia and Jermain Defoe has been first-choice back-up.
Adebayor has not played a competitive game since he was given extended compassionate leave following the death of his brother in Togo.
The striker returned to London towards the end of last month but he has gone back to Africa, for "personal reasons", according to the Spurs manager.
The 29-year-old, who is one of Tottenham's top earners, will return on Monday and he will then train with the club's second string.
"At the moment Ade is not with us, because we have granted him authorisation to stay up until Monday in his country for personal reasons," the Tottenham boss said.
"Up to when I find it appropriate, he will train with the development team."
Villas-Boas signed Adebayor on a permanent basis last summer but he failed to deliver, scoring just five goals in the Barclays Premier League.
Adebayor spoke this week about his desire to become Tottenham's first-choice hitman, but the revelation that he has been asked to train with the development squad seems to suggest that the 29-year-old is not in Villas-Boas' plans.
Indeed when asked to assess the strength of his attacking options, there was no mention of Adebayor.
"We have two great goal-scorers (Soldado and Defoe)," Villas-Boas said.
Tottenham host Norwich on Saturday in what will be the first match of the post-Gareth Bale era. After being peppered with questions about the now Real Madrid attacking midfielder over the entire summer, it is clear that Villas-Boas wants to forget the saga.
The Portuguese responded with a very blunt "no" when asked whether he felt any emotion at seeing images of Bale train with his new team.
"What we have to do is move on," he added.
In reality Spurs had moved on from Bale even before he departed. The club spent in excess of £100million replacing Bale with seven new signings.
Soldado, Etienne Capoue, Paulinho and Nacer Chadli signed before the season began while Vlad Chiriches, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen were snapped up just before the defeat at Arsenal.
Villas-Boas, who was accused of making too many changes too quickly at Chelsea, admits the new signings will take time to settle in. Indeed he forgot Chiriches' name on Thursday when listing the players he had signed.
He has no doubt about the potential of the new arrivals, though.
"The expectancy is these players will become world stars," he said.
Villas-Boas showered praise on Eriksen, the £11.5million signing from Ajax.
The Dutch club are famous for turning raw young talent into stars and Villas-Boas thinks Eriksen has plenty of potential to become a world-beater with Tottenham.
"I think what happened with Christian is a bit like that happened with like Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart when they were at Ajax," Villas-Boas said.
"They reach a moment in their career where they become extremely important for their team and the club who goes and gets them does a great transfer move.
"We expect great things of Christian Eriksen and we want to develop him into becoming that sort of important player for us as well."
Having lost a man who scored 26 goals last season, the onus will be on the rest of the squad to step up.
The early signs have not been good in terms of goals scored. Although Spurs have won two of their opening three games, they are yet to score from open play.
That is where Villas-Boas thinks 21-year-old Lamela, who cost around £26million, can help.
"I think the qualities he brings are his creativeness, his ability to find the last pass that leads to a goal," the Portuguese said.
"He's a natural talent. He's not a pure winger; he's creative and likes to come inside and find different spaces. He's a player with tremendous potential that we have to work on."
Lamela and Eriksen are likely to make their full debuts against Norwich, but Chiriches will not play as Tottenham are yet to finalise a work permit for the Romanian defender.
Gylfi Sigurdsson is a doubt due to a leg injury while Capoue is out because of an ankle injury he sustained against Arsenal.