Alan Pardew has revealed he tried to sign Emmanuel Adebayor when he was manager of Newcastle United.
The enigmatic former Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Tottenham striker joined Crystal Palace on Tuesday after spending five months as a free agent following his release by Spurs.
He possesses the talent to remain among the Barclays Premier League’s finest but has a reputation for being both lazy and problematic, causing concerns he may disrupt what has so far been a fine season for Palace and undermine their pursuit of European football.
But Pardew is adamant he has sufficiently researched Adebayor’s character and is confident Palace can benefit the 31-year-old’s career as much as he can provide them with much-needed goals.
“We’ve incentivised his contract to do that, in terms of him being a success,” said Pardew, who accepts the striker remains too short of match fitness to start against Stoke in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
“I see in him a desire to get his career back on track, and I think I can help him. I’m hoping that’s a win-win situation for him and for us.
“You cannot underestimate the quality he has. I’ve tried to sign him twice before, once at West Ham, when I came that close, and at Newcastle we talked long and hard about him.
“He’s a character that needs to be loved and the group I have... he’s going to get that.
“For us it’s about bringing in a striker to give everyone a boost. We all felt sorry for ourselves, no (Yannick) Bolasie, Connor (Wickham’s) now suspended, so it’s great for us.
“You can see in the training ground there’s a lift already. He’s done the first part of his job because everybody is really pleased he’s here.
“The only risk is if he doesn’t play well. I can’t see any other risk. I think we discard players quite quickly, and sometimes too early.”