On a weekend when one Adebayor — Emmanuel Sheyi — was treated to a Hollywood star’s welcome when he landed in Asunción, Paraguay to begin the latest, weirdest leg of a long career, another Adebayor — Victorien Adje Zakari — was stirring up the Ghana Premier League in Berekum.
The latter got his ninth and tenth goals of the season, level with Aduana Stars’ Yahaya Mohammed. Both were picked right out of the top drawer: the first a freekick struck past the wall and through the Berekum Chelsea goalkeeper’s legs, the second every bit as glorious as the play that created it. Between those, Adebayor slid his fourth assist of the term, but something else — not quite as productive, but certainly brilliant — caught the eye.
That highlight — which went viral in the Ghanaian social media space — came when Adebayor, outwitting Ahmed Adams, Chelsea’s usually solid defender and brother of Ghana international Kasim Nuhu Adams, pulled off a ridiculous piece of skill: a few keep-ups before delivering his second nutmeg of the day — ‘spicing’ things up, eh?
That may have passed as nothing more than showboating — at its most daring, perhaps — but it was also telling of just how effortless all of this feels to Adebayor. Only last week, the 23-year-old was talking about how, despite speaking appreciatively of the GPL’s quality, he hadn’t yet faced “tough opposition.”
To many, he sounded boastful — and maybe he did. But Adebayor’s one-man exhibition in Berekum — of all places, charley — was, perhaps, the most vivid illustration yet of his claim. The Blues were the league’s early pacesetters this season, clinging to a record of invincibility at home and shattering other clubs’ own pride as hosts — which makes the pills Adebayor administered even harder to swallow.
Adebayor seems to have taken to Ghana’s top-flight easier than to life in the country itself. Days ago, in an interview with Joy Sports, the Nigerien spoke French; to TV3’s Juliet Bawuah, he opted for Hausa. On the pitch, though, his statements have been loud, clear, and fluent, with little lost in translation ever since Allies signed him after he exploded at the 2017 WAFU Cup.
Either side of the hiatus that the GPL went on halfway through his first season in 2018 — during which he joined Danish outfit Vejle BK on loan — Adebayor has proven a real attacking force with 17 goals in all. In a league where only a handful of foreigners are remembered with any fondness — Ivorian Ahmed Toure (Asante Kotoko, Bechem United), goalkeepers Nibombe Wake (Togo; Ashantigold) and Abdoulaye Soulama (Burkina Faso; Asante Kotoko, Hearts of Oak) the notable exceptions — Adebayor could be on course to make a similar mark.
And here’s the bad news for everyone else: he’s probably just getting started.
NY Frimpong — Daily Mail GH