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African Footballer of the Year 2007
 
Emmanuel Adebayor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Togo and Arsenal player Emmanuel Adebayor

Emmanuel Adebayor

 

By Mia Willoughby

When Emmanuel Adebayor scores, Arsenal never lose.

That is the value of the Togo forward to one of the English Premier League's greatest clubs.

Since he joined the Gunners in January 2006, Adebayor has built a reputation for scoring crucial goals.

So much so that Arsenal fans have actually composed a special matchday chant in his honour - Ade-bay-or, Ade-bay-or to the tune of London's famous Big Ben chimes.

And with the departure of Arsenal's record goal-scorer Thierry Henry in the 2007 off-season, the tall lanky striker has become the focal point of the Arsenal team.

His pace and willingness to chase down defenders often leads to him creating chances for his team-mates.
Mia Willoughby
 

He took on that role with gusto, finishing September as the top scorer in the Premier League with six goals.

That included an accomplished hat-trick in a 5-0 demolition of Derby.

But the value of Adebayor is not just in the goals he scores.

His pace and willingness to chase down defenders often leads to him creating chances for his team-mates.

On the international front, Adebayor has had more of a mixed year.

He was influential for Togo - scoring vital goals in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Cameroon and Sierra Leone.

Ultimately though, Togo failed to qualify for the Africa's showpiece tournament in Ghana.

He was also suspended from the team for three games after the Sierra Leone qualifier for demanding a $60,000 payment owed to the World Cup squad.

But his absence from Ghana can only be to the benefit of Arsenal, as they bid for a first title since 2004.

His manager Arsene Wenger certainly agrees.

At the end of last season, Adebayor agreed a new contract, which Arsenal described as being "long-term".

The Togolese figures in Wenger's plans for a good few years yet.
 
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