Emmanuel Adebayor to be in Tottenham squad

Adebayor to be named in Spurs squad for Newcastle clash despite missing training

By
Paul Hirst, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

19:36 GMT, 8 February 2013

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UPDATED:

20:08 GMT, 8 February 2013

Emmanuel Adebayor missed Tottenham training today, but will still be in the squad to face Newcastle at White Hart Lane tomorrow.

Adebayor's African Nations Cup campaign with Togo ended on Sunday evening with a quarter-final defeat to Burkino Faso, yet he remained in South Africa for another four days despite the fact that he is the club's only fit striker.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas said yesterday that he had given Adebayor some time off to deal with some 'issues' following the tournament.

Missing: Emmanuel Adebayor was absent from Tottenham training

Missing: Emmanuel Adebayor was absent from Tottenham training

The Portuguese said he had told the former Arsenal man to be back for today's 3pm training session, but it is understood that the player did not make it back in time.

Despite this, it is thought that Villas-Boas is content to include the Togolese in his squad for tomorrow's lunch time kick-off against the Magpies even though he has not trained with his club team-mates since January 11.

Villas-Boas now has to decide whether he throws Adebayor in to the team despite his lack of training, persist with Clint Dempsey as a makeshift centre-forward, or deploy Gareth Bale up front as he hinted he might do yesterday.

If Adebayor does not start, it could mean Lewis Holtby makes his full debut against Alan Pardew's side.

The Germany international has impressed off the bench twice since his move from Schalke, and could be deployed on the left flank if Bale plays down the middle.

'He's made an immediate impact in the team in both games,' Villas-Boas said of the 1.25million midfielder.

Settled: Lewis Holtby has made an instant impression at Tottenham

Settled: Lewis Holtby has made an instant impression at Tottenham

'Lewis offers further options playing from the channels coming in. We haven't seen him in this position yet, but he finds comfort in that position because he played it before for Mainz.

'At the moment he's playing fantastically well. Hopefully we will continue to see him progress.'

While Holtby was Tottenham's only senior signing last month, Newcastle were much busier, adding five Frenchmen to their ranks.

The most impressive of the new arrivals has been Moussa Sissoko, who scored twice against Chelsea last weekend in only his second start since his cut-price transfer from Toulouse.

'Most of their signings have gone straight in and have had the right impact,' the Tottenham manager said.

'Sissoko was a great grab. A couple of years ago he was being linked with the top clubs in the world and to get him at such a low price was a massive coup for them.'

Leading the line: Gareth Bale could start up front for Tottenham

Leading the line: Gareth Bale could start up front for Tottenham

Tottenham will open up a six-point gap over fifth place Everton if they defeat Newcastle tomorrow.

Although Spurs are unbeaten in two months in the Barclays Premier League, their tendency to draw matches had meant they have not been able to make an assault on second and third position.

Villas-Boas hopes his team can build on last weekend's narrow victory over West Brom by recording another win tomorrow.

'We want to build a gap over the teams that are chasing us and bridge the gap to those at the top,” Villas-Boas said.

'It can go either way. Everton have a difficult away fixture (at Manchester United) this weekend, Arsenal have one too (at Sunderland).

'If we want to be able to profit in some way from these two fixtures, we have to get the result against Newcastle.

'We have to do our job.'