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Why Adebayor was vital to City's progression

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As reported last night on the blog Emmanuel Adebayor has finally completed a permanent move to Tottenham in a deal being reported as £5million that takes the Togolese striker to White Hart Lane, where he of course spent a productive season on loan in 2011/12.

Despite being concluded little over a week before the deadline (and after the 2012/13 season has kicked off) it was a deal that was always likely to get done, despite rumours of alternative targets (including Edin Dzeko) being pursued. Ultimately it is a deal where both parties benefit but Tottenham will undoubtedly be the happier of the two given that strikers of Adebayor's quality are not often found for such a low fee.

At times, Adebayor showed flashes of a being a devastating presence; capable of dominating even the best defences but this was witnessed all too infrequently. Whilst not managed as well as he could have been, too often his displays were insipid and lacking in desire. The system that Roberto Mancini favoured did not help his future prospects either, nor did the success of Tevez and the totemic figure that he became, particularly at the start of the 2009/10 season when the attack was as geared around him as Arsenal's was to Robin Van Persie last season.

Certainly City - now the era of FFP is upon us - will be relieved to rid themselves of his weighty contract with two years still remaining (having had to swallow a chunk of his wages these past eighteen months to previously send Adebayor on loan to Tottenham and Real Madrid). Reports did suggest that one of the sticking points was whether City would have to pay the difference in his reduced wages for the term of his original City contract (to the summer of 2014) or for the entirety of his Tottenham contract, but it was confirmed that the deal was concluded without City having to make up any difference, with an increased signing bonus appeasing the Adebayor camp.

Unsurprisingly, the news was well received by the overwhelming majority of City fans with Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz being the target of much criticism these past eighteen months or so; both intrinsically linked to the perceived profligacy of the Mark Hughes reign where inflated fees and salaries were a feature. City are now still counting the cost of some of these deals that have seen most marginalised and some ostracised from the squad, which in part may also have hindered their ability to land some of the big targets this summer.

Given City's current position it is easy to view history in somewhat of a different light and forget quite how far they have come in such a short period of time. Did City overpay for Adebayor? Was Adebayor truly needed? My original thoughts at the time of signing him still stand. During the summer of 2009, Hughes added Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz and Adebayor to a stable of forwards that until Robinho arrived on deadline day 2008 consisted of the likes of Benjani, Felipe Caicedo and Ched Evans.

City, at the time, were a club in transition; albeit at a rapid rate. There was a definite need - as there was in all positions throughout the squad - to move fast, playing catch up to a well established and dominant big four. This necessitated overpaying (both in terms of fees and wages); in many ways running before they could walk and some of these moves have of course hurt them in the long run - something that PSG are no attempting to themselves replicate.

At the time though, there was little option. City had an end goal and in order to accelerate the progress from Caicedo, Benjani and Evans to the current quartet the likes of Adebayor had to brought in, and at the price they were. Now, City can of course be far more selective due to the foundations and platform that has been established.

Ultimately though, without the bridge players that were brought in and helped start this progression, would the likes of David Silva, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero - the key drivers that eventually brought success - have ever arrived?