By Izuchuchu Okosi:
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has revealed his failed attempts to sign Emanuel Adebayor in the past, before the Togolese penned a deal for The Eagles until the end of the season.
Pardew made this disclosure in his press conference on Thursday afternoon.
The former Newcastle United boss also stressed that quality players get written off too soon.
However, for the fans of the former African Footballer of the Year, they will be disappointed to learn that the former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur star will most likely not start in the Eagles' Saturday's fourth round FA Cup game against Stoke City.
This is despite Connor Wickham starting a three-game ban after not contesting an FA charge for violent conduct.
“I think the uncertainty about big Ade is because he hasn’t played for a period. Our initial look at him has been good. We’re buoyed by that.
“He looks good in training. He’s focused on doing a quality job for Crystal Palace. It is an incentivised contract.
“I see in him a desire to get his career back on track. I think I can help him. I hope it is a win-win situation for him and for us.
“You cannot underestimate the quality he has. I tried to sign him twice before – at West Ham and Newcastle – he was a player on my radar for a while.
“He’s a character that needs to be loved. I think the group I have here – staff, players and fans – he’s going to get that.
“Getting up to speed is going to be the issue. It is going to be difficult to assess when he is going to be up to speed – is it going to be cameo roles or straight in. You’ll have to wait and see.
Pardew in his press conference monitored by Completesportsnigeria.com refused to comment about the problems the Togo international has had to face off field and hints at the motivation behind Adebayor's move to Selhurst Park.
“I can’t talk too much about Ade’s history. I don’t know all the factors. I only see what is in front of me – I see a guy who wants to be a success and wants to be the top African goalscorer in the Premier League. It is a lovely little goal in front of him that he can achieve.
“For us it was about bringing in a striker to give everyone a boost. We have no Yannick Bolasie, no Connor Wickham – you can see in training he has given everyone a lift. So he’s already done the first part of his job because everyone is really pleased he is here.
“There is not a risk. The only risk is if he doesn’t play well. I can’t see any risk, if I’m honest.
In highlighting the need to give a second chance to players whom people have given up on, Pardew gave kudos to Harry Redknapp who is good at revamping the careers of players.
“I think we discard players quite quickly and sometimes too early. I look at Harry Redknapp’s career and he was very good at regenerating some senior players who were supposed to be at the end of their careers.
“I had a couple of situations like that. Teddy Sheringham springs to mind – he was playing in my Premier League team at the age of 38.
“We are very fortunate to have Ade – make no mistake about that. The fans should be optimistic, let’s see where the road takes us.”
Dwight Gayle has been heavily linked with Swansea, who do have an interest in the former Peterborough United hotshot.
Asked if a striker was set to leave, Pardew responded: “No.”
Pardew also revealed Palace chairman Steve Parish is the one pushing for more deals in the transfer window – not him.
Parish admitted to the media earlier this week in an interview that other moves could hinge on players going out, due to the demands of FFP (Financial Fair Play).
Pardew said: “My chairman has always been very active in windows – I’m not feeding that in any way.
“He’s quite bullish about deals and manoeuvring the squad. I’m just looking for the right balance between us.
“That makes for a good combination. Sometimes it is the other way around and that can be a problem in my eyes. There are one or two things we’re looking at,” Pardew said.