TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp admits he is taking a gamble in attempting to pull off the controversial loan signing of Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
The Togo forward comes with huge baggage; an unpopular figure with Spurs fans due his past at bitter rivals Arsenal, he has fallen foul of City boss Roberto Mancini despite a bright start.
But Redknapp, who is looking for attacking reinforcements after offloading Robbie Keane to LA Galaxy this week, believes the potential benefits of landing Adebayor, who could arrive before the weekend, make it a gamble worth taking.
“If he comes and plays as he can play, he could be fantastic for us. If he comes and doesn’t perform, it’s only a loan and it’s not the end of the world,” said Redknapp.
“He went to Real Madrid last year and he murdered us out there [when Spurs met Real in the Champions League]. When he was at Arsenal, when he was really on his game, he was unplayable. We just hope he comes here and is in that type of mood.
“I’ve spoken to lads who have played with him and against him and they all feel he could be a big success. It is a gamble but, unless you’re going to pay £35m for Sergio Aguero and pay him £250,000 a week, you’ve got to take a chance.”
Redknapp maintains he wants to keep Luka Modric, despite big-money offers from Chelsea, although the playmaker has been left out of tonight’s Europa League play-off at Hearts, with the club citing an injury.
Spurs are short in midfield for their first game of the season, while Hearts should be sharper having been in competitive action since July, and captain Michael Dawson has warned against a repeat of last year’s Champions League play-off scare in Switzerland.
“That first half-hour at Young Boys was a disaster and could’ve cost us dearly,” he said of a match in which they trailed 3-0 and lost before progressing on aggregate. “We’ve got to make sure we go out all guns blazing and make sure we’re ready and focused, because they will be.”