A forward with skill to create a chance and an ability to score, but one who wrapped controversy around himself like a comfort blanket, Emmanuel Adebayor became more known for his headlines than his headers.
A tall, stringy striker, Emmanuel made his name in his early career playing for Metz and AS Monaco in France. Having scored in the Monaco side's progress to the Champions League final in 2004, where he sat on the bench as an unused substitute, he continued to score in Ligue Un, bringing him to the attention of Arsene Wenger, who specialised in signing players from the French league.
Paying £3 million for the Togo international, Arsenal saw an immediate repayment as he scored on his debut and went on to be a regular on the score-sheet for the Gooners. Ironically, the team reached the Champions League final at the end of his first season, but Adebayor was cup-tied, having played for Monaco earlier in the tournament.
Hot-headed on occasion, he was sent off in the 2007 League Cup final in a melee that saw him red-carded for throwing a punch at Frank Lampard. In January 2008, in a 1-5 League Cup final defeat at Tottenham, Ade was involved in a bust-up with team-mate Nicholas Bendtner, resulting in a head butt for the Dane, who suffered a cut on his nose.
In the summer of 2008, it looked as though Adebayor might move on with AC Milan and Barcelona both interested in paying big money for the tall forward, but he signed a long contract with Arsenal and had an in and out season with some good moments and two months out with a pulled hamstring, when it seemed he would only be missing for three weeks. As it turned out, this would be his last season at the Emirates, with a July 2009 move to Manchester City coming at the cost of £25 million for a five year deal.
Another debut goal gave him a good start at City, with two in successive games after that, but in a game against former club Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium, he scored in a 4-2 win that saw him race the length of the pitch to slid in celebration in front of the Arsenal fans, who threw things at him and tried to get on the pitch. Ade was also accused of kicking former team-mate Robin van Persie in the face after a challenge, which he was given a three match ban for by the FA when the incident was reviewed.
In January 201, Adebayor went to Angola to represent Togo in the African Cup of Nations, but on the way to a game the team coach was shot at by rebel fighters and three people on the coach were shot dead and several players sustained injuries. Togo withdrew from the competition and following that Adebayor retired from international football. Subsequently, he chose to return to play for Togo, only to retire again complaining of a lack of money being put into the national team.
When Mark Hughes was ousted as manager at Manchester City and replaced by Roberto Mancini, Emmanuel found himself behind new signings Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli, so it was not a surprise that he went out on loan in January 2011 to join Real Madrid for the remainder of the season. He impressed at Real and even scored a hat-trick against Tottenham in the Champions League quarter final first leg, when Spurs played much of the game with ten men following the sending off of Peter Crouch.
Adebayor was told he could leave in August 2011. But rather than a permanent move, he moved to Tottenham on loan for the 2011-12 season. Starting well showing a fine touch and a knack for being in the right place to score, he appeared a happy man, blending in well with the players at the club and having a smile on his face.
Scoring 17 league goals and one in the cups, Ade finished Tottenham's top scorer and also had the most assists, which prompted Harry Redknapp to get Daniel Levy to push the boat out to negotiate a deal to sign the striker permanently. This was done for £5 million, as Manchester City wanted to get rid of him, as well as agreeing to pay a substantial part of the player's wages which matched those he was on at City (believed to be the balance between the £70,000 a week Spurs would pay and the £150,000 a week he was used to).
The season 2012-13 was a big disappointment after his very good first season. It all started going wrong when he put Tottenham 1-0 up away to Arsenal inside five minutes, but then was sent off very quickly after and then suffered injury and more attention for what wasn't going right for him. His decisive penalty miss in the shoot-out in the Europa League against FC Basel saw him walking off with a grin on his face, which some fans took as an indication that he didn't care about his mistake.
Adebayor fell out of favour with Andre Villas-Boas over the summer of 2013, partly as he was late back from the African Cup of Nations and also unavailable for much of the pre-season, when he stayed back in Togo longer than the club had allowed him to be for the funeral of his brother. Banished to train with the youngsters in the development team, it looked as though he might leave in the transfer August 2013 window, but moves to German club Schalke 04 and Turkish side Besiktas was scuppered by the amount of salary he wanted.
His reputation of starting with clubs well in the first season and losing interest after that has cast a shadow over his latter career and his high wage demands have hampered any progress that might have been on the cards for him at Real Madrid or Tottenham.