Aston Villa were linked with Tottenham Hotspur's out of favour striker Emmanuel Adebayor as soon as Tim Sherwood took over in February, but the Mirror's revisiting of those links on Saturday night carry a little more weight now Christian Benteke looks like departing the club for Liverpool, a move the Mirror also propose.
And though there are going to be plenty of Villa supporters worrying about Adebayor coming in to replace their star striker, we're going to look at a huge statistical reason as why it could not just be a good piece of business by Sherwood, but a tried and tested one.
Because Sherwood has already rescued the Adebayor once at Spurs, and helped him show spectators that he remains a class Premier League forward at his best.
|Premier League||Position||Team||Goals||Goal Assist||Scoring V Shooting Accuracy||Goals / apps||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Emmanuel Adebayor (18.12.13 - June 14)||FW||Tottenham||11||4||26.19%||0.55||20||1763|
|Christian Benteke (21.02.15 - June 15)||FW||Aston Villa||11||1||34.38%||0.846||13||1148|
Adebayor scored 11 goals and made 5 assists in 20 Premier League matches once Andre Villas-Boas left Spurs in December 2015, he also scored 3 goals in 4 cup games, leaving him on a grand total of 15 goals from 24 matches under the current Villa manager.
It was an upturn in form comparable to Benteke's superb performances once Sherwood took over at Villa this year. From his first match against Stoke until the end of the season, no player scored more league goals than the Belgian. Benteke ended the campaign with an incredible 12 in 15 in all competitions from the managerial change onwards.
The year before with Adebayor, the Spurs striker was in the top five goals to appearances ratio once Sherwood took over.
A player's general quality is only part of what helps him to be successful in the Premier League. Adebayor more than most has shown that the right management is integral to making some players work, and there is little doubt about the Togo striker's ability.
Of course it is easy to admonish players that have temperaments which may stop them from trying their hardest, or remaining motivated, all the time, but that's not what football and management is about. It is gathering players of differing levels of quality and different personalities and trying to make each of them as good as possible for the benefit of the team. There is no doubt that Sherwood did that with the 31-year-old in six months in charge at White Hart Lane.
Few would suggest that the former England midfielder is a soft touch as a manager, but he recognised when he took over at Spurs that Adebayor was the best striker at the club, and could do a job for the side. He obviously said the right things and kept saying them, because once he returned the ex-Arsenal striker to the starting line-up, Adebayor was the best player on the pitch for Tottenham most weeks.
He worked hard, harried opposition players from up front, and of course found the back of the net, and if Villa can get a player of his quality in for a modest transfer fee, and with Spurs covering some of his wages as has been proposed by the Mail in the past, then there would be no reason at all why Sherwood couldn't pull the same trick again in making the most out of the attacker, for as long as the 46-year-old is in charge at the club.