Thursday, April 4, 2019

Adebayor can still play for Togo ‘if he is ready’, says coach

Adebayor can still play for Togo ‘if he is ready’, says coach
September 25
13:12 2015

Togo coach, Tom Saintfiet, still harbours hope of seeing striker Emmanuel Adebayor back to the national team.  

Adebayor, who has been released by Tottenham, has not played for Togo since the 2-1 win against Liberia in June.

The 31-year-old failed to respond to a call-up for September’s qualifier against Djibouti, which Togo won 2-0, and his international future remains unclear.

But the striker, who is believed to be back in Togo, could still play for his country “if he ready”.

“I am here and if he is ready for a chat he is always welcome. Let’s hope he feels the need to help us as a team,” Saintfiet told BBC Sport.

“Everyone who has a Togolese passport, who wants us to qualify and to win and who will follow the rules of the federation, is welcome to play for the national team.

“Emmanuel is the best striker in the history of Togolese football and one of the best African strikers in history. To replace him with the same quality, maybe we cannot do that at this moment. But also our opponents do not have someone like him.”

But should Adebayor fail to return to the national team, Saintfiet revealed he is working to bring in new players to try to fill the gap.

“If it doesn’t work out (with Adebayor) we have other players we are talking with like Peniel Mlapa, who is a a Germany-based Togolese striker, and another player for the future is Gilles Sunu, who played at Arsenal and is now playing for Angers,” he said.

“There are a few players on the list and we have other players who play in Africa and in Europe who can help us.”

Togo are top of Nations Cup qualifying Group A on six points and in a strong position, but Saintfiet remains wary that things could easily change.

“We are at the moment in the best position and the pressure is on Tunisia, but we must not underestimate Liberia who have to play Djibouti twice and could also reach nine points after those two matches,” he said.

“But I am convinced that we have the quality to qualify and until now the group of players has confirmed that.”


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