Adebayor could prove to be the missing link as Real Madrid look to challenge Barcelona’s dominance

Emmanuel Adebayor has this week confirmed his desire to leave Manchester City to return to Real Madrid, the club where he enjoyed a successful loan spell in the latter half of last season. As reports continue to surface claiming that Madrid are closing in on their man, Los Blancos head coach, Jose Mourinho, could be close to a key component as he prepares his side for the mammoth task of taking on La Liga and European champions, Barcelona.

Adebayor finished his loan spell at the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season, scoring five goals in 14 appearances, and returning to England with a Copa del Rey medal, having scored his first goal for the club in the semi-final second leg against Sevilla. As Mourinho reportedly looks to get his man for the second time, the Madrid boss will be looking to Adebayor as an added goal threat alongside the ever-prolific Cristiano Ronaldo.

Throughout Mourinho’s recent successes his sides have always had a lead goalscorer. Chelsea striker Didier Drogba often cited Mourinho as a major influence in his development as a player, having been brought to Stamford Bridge by the Portuguese coach from Marseille in 2004. Mourinho now has the opportunity to recreate the influence of a player with similarities to the Ivorian. With creative options alongside Ronaldo including Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria, Adebayor leading the line could be an unusual move in La Liga. In a league not particularly famous for physical dominance in attack, the Togo international has the potential to provide a different approach to that provided by Madrid’s current crop of forwards, including Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema.

Although Real Madrid supporters will be looking to get more from Adebayor should he join the club for a second spell, with the striker particularly criticised at times for being wasteful in front of goal, his prospective new coach has a proven track record of working with a player and helping him realise his potential to scale new career heights. Adebayor’s ability has been proven previously, particularly with a successful season which saw him finish the 2007/08 campaign with 24 Premier League goals for Arsenal. However, with Manchester City failing to find this form from the player on a regular basis, the chance to work with Mourinho for a prolonged period could see the striker recreate his very best form.

As Mourinho looks to his latest campaign for silverware and his bid to become a league-winning manager in four countries, the inclusion of Adebayor could prove crucial. With the Blancos coach still seemingly as keen as ever on creating ‘siege mentality’ within his squad, notably against Barcelona both domestically and in Europe, Mourinho has the chance to bring in a player never shy of expressing himself, both on and off the pitch. If Mourinho can bring out a combination of this extroverted, controversial and physical, yet technically gifted footballer, Real Madrid could find themselves edging closer to Barcelona at the summit of Spanish, and European football.

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