• Premier League

Villas-Boas praises 'great' Adebayor

Kevin Palmer
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Emmanuel Adebayor is set to stay at Spurs © PA Photos
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Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has hailed bench warmer Emmanuel Adebayor as "one of the best strikers in the world" and insists he will not consider allowing him to leave the club during the January transfer window.

Adebayor has grown increasingly frustrated by his lack of game time since sealing a permanent move to Tottenham from Manchester City in August, yet Villas-Boas denies he will be willing to let go of his £5m signing.

"Adebayor is one of the great strikers of the world," Villas-Boas said. "Certainly there is no interest in selling or loaning him in January. Unfortunately, it has [not] been working out for him this season because of injuries, but he is an important player.

"At the moment, we start with [Jermain] Defoe in a system that has given us some rewards, but Ade's chances will come."

Adebayor is likely to be handed a chance to impress Villas-Boas by starting in Thursday night's Europa League tie against NK Maribor, with the Spurs boss keen to lift his players after their woeful display during Saturday's defeat against Wigan.

"We should remember what we have achieved this season," he said. "Against Chelsea, we lost Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele and we gave them a run for their money even though they were on an amazing run.

"We had extremely good games against Southampton and Norwich without good players due to injuries. Good players are missed, but I don't think it has affected the tempo and dynamic of the team."

Meanwhile, Villas-Boas has confirmed that reserve keeper Hugo Lloris will start against Maribor in a game he views as crucial to his side's Europa League prospects.

"European nights at White Hart Lane are always great and we have to be better to get the win," he said. "We were unlucky not to win at their ground, but they played well. Now we have to go for the win."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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