LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says Emmanuel Adebayor still has an important role to play after the Premier League club blocked the striker’s deadline-day move to West Ham United.
Adebayor has played only once in the Premier League since the beginning of November, in a 2-1 win over Sunderland on Jan. 17, and looked set to leave White Hart Lane as the January transfer window came to a close on Monday.
A proposed move to West Ham, however, collapsed when Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy refused to loan the 30-year-old to their London rivals, who are two places and four points below them in eighth in the table.
Despite the Togo striker’s eagerness to leave in search of first team football, Pochettino says he is happy to have Adebayor in his squad ahead of Arsenal’s visit for the north London derby on Saturday.
“We’re happy for him to stay here,” the Tottenham manager told a news conference on Thursday.
“He is a very important player and we need to provide him with the tools to improve his game. Like all players, he needs to train in a good way and I have confidence in him.”
Former Arsenal forward Adebayor is unlikely to feature against his old team mates with red-hot striker Harry Kane, who has 20 goals in all competitions this season, a guaranteed starter while Spain striker Roberto Soldado often features from the bench.
Adebayor, who has two goals in 11 league appearances this term, says he will remain professional despite wanting away from the club.
“Everything happened in the last 48 hours although the window was open for a month. The club decided to send me out on loan which I was pleased with,” the striker said of a frenetic Monday evening.
”There were five good clubs who were interested and I narrowed that down to three and then one that I wanted to go. But Mr Levy was against that because it was a rival club.
“So I am staying here, and I am happy to stay at the club and do my job.”
Reporting By Sam Holden; editing by Toby Davis