Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew: If I can handle ‘difficult’ Hatem Ben Arfa, I can handle Emmanuel Adebayor

Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa

As Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew weighs up a move for free agent Emmanuel Adebayor, the former Newcastle manager is confident he can handle the controversial striker, having dealt with ‘difficult’ Hatem Ben Arfa.

Ten years to the week when Arsenal signed Emmanuel Adebayor from Monaco, Alan Pardew has revealed how close the striker came to joining him at West Ham.

The Crystal Palace manager confirmed yesterday that free agent Adebayor was a potential transfer target in his bid to add a goalscoring striker to his squad.

His interest comes amid his team’s lack of a consistent goalscoring threat leading to them scoring only 22 times in the Premier League this season, the lowest total of any team in the top 12.

It also comes in spite of Adebayor’s controversial past at previous clubs Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City, who Palace visit in the Premier League today.

Pardew thought he had signed the striker while at West Ham in January 2006 before Arsenal’s late intervention, and is again considering signing him, insisting he is unconcerned about the reputation he has long had.

“That was very serious (interest), yeah,” said Pardew, who responded in 2006 by instead signing Dean Ashton from Norwich and who today remains without the injured Yannick Bolasie.

“We had a couple of really close shaves bringing him to West Ham and I was very, very disappointed Arsenal ultimately got him.”

Asked if Adebayor, who has been without a club since being released by Tottenham in September, would test his man-management skills, Pardew said: “Yes, but I have had difficult players before.

“None more difficult than (Hatem) Ben Arfa (at Newcastle).

“If I can deal with him, I can deal with Adebayor for sure.

“For me, whenever he has played against me he has been totally committed and he’s a dangerous world player.

“You have only got to look at his clubs and of course, for whatever reason there has been a fall-out at Spurs over whatever, but he remains a player that can have a great impact. One of those players that would improve us.”