Mauricio Pochettino is confident Emmanuel Adebayor will give 100 per cent for Tottenham, despite seeing a deadline-day move to West Ham fall through.
The 30-year-old’s topsy-turvy, three-and-a-half year stay with the north Londoners looked like it could be coming to an end this week.
Adebayor – booed on more occasions by Tottenham’s fans recently – was “pleased” to have the chance to leave on loan and plumped for a move to West Ham, only for chairman Daniel Levy pull the plug.
While he may have wanted to leave for Upton Park, the divisive Togolese striker insisted he was “very happy” to be staying at White Hart Lane – a statement Pochettino believes.
“We are happy that he stays here because I think he is a very important player,” the Tottenham head coach said.
“We need to provide him with the tools to improve his game and try to help the team to reach their objective.
“Like with all players, we try to push them, get them to train in a good way and after, when they have the opportunity to play, try to give their best.”
Asked whether he was confident of getting 100 per cent from Adebayor, the Spurs head coach said: “Yes, I have confidence in him, like in other players. After he tries to show on the pitch but, yes, we are confident.
“We need to analyse the past. The past was difficult for him and always it is difficult to come back again, to recover the confidence and the best level to compete.
“If you review a little bit of the last two or three months, maybe people understand that he needs time to get back his confidence and his best level.”
Adebayor is likely to start from the bench in this weekend’s north London derby – a fixture in which his 10-goal haul is better than any other player has managed.
The encounter with Arsenal is a “special match”, Pochettino says, but one which was overshadowed somewhat during the press conference by talk regarding transfers.
Aaron Lennon, Kyle Naughton and Benoit Assou-Ekotto all left during the winter transfer window, but the likes of Adebayor, Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue stayed despite being offered an exit.
As such, they will now form part of the Spurs squad for the remainder of the campaign and Pochettino has no concerns about their mental state.
“They are focusing on our club, on Tottenham,” he said.
“Always when the window arrives always different situations and different things happen, but now is good because it’s finished and we all need to be focused to try to help the team.
“The players are focused and try to help. I’m very happy. We have a very good squad.”
Arguably the best player in the Spurs ranks right now is goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, which has understandably led to vultures circling over White Hart Lane.
Paris St Germain, Manchester United and Real Madrid are amongst those regularly linked with a move for the France international, although Pochettino is confident he will still be at the club next season.
“I think that Hugo is one of the best ‘keepers in the world,” he said.
“I have recognised that in different press conferences in the past. His contribution is magnificent, great.
“Hugo is happy here with us. He is very happy. It is difficult for this type of club to get him because Hugo is happy here.
“He is happy here and maybe in the future, in his mind, he is playing in the Champions League with Tottenham.”
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