The transfer that signaled Man City’s intention to dominate the Premier League
It was July 18, 2009, when Manchester City spent £ 25million to bring a direct rival’s top striker to the club in a summer when they were adamant they didn’t want to sell him.
Emmanuel Adebayor had scored 62 goals in 142 games for Arsenal following a £ 7million transfer from Monaco three and a half years earlier and had scored 30 goals in just one season before City took over.
The Blues were in the midst of their period of growth following the Abu Dhabi takeover which saw them become one of the European powers in the last decade – winning three of the last four Premier League titles and proving to be a dream destination for some of the best players.
Adebayor, 25, had been targeted by Chelsea and AC Milan that summer, following a falling out with Gunners fans who questioned his commitment to the club. However, it was City who amassed the money and convinced them their future lay in the Premier League in the north.
While they already had Carlos Tevez and Robinho on their books when they signed him, it was his signing that was the first real signal of intent to the rest of the Premier League.
Robinho joined because Real Madrid were desperate to get rid of him and he believed it was Manchester United signing him, while Tevez only became an option because of what the Argentine thought of the United’s attempts to make his loan permanent – leaving him bitter and ready for revenge.
But Adebayor had none of these. Arsenal finished consistently in the top four and he scored goals and played regularly, he just wanted to join City on their project.
When he joined, he mentioned the owners’ vision as one of the main reasons for this controversial decision.
“I can’t wait to play for the City fans and show them what I can do. I was born to play football and that’s what I want to do. I came here to make this history. club and its supporters.
“That’s what the president and manager told me they want too and I can’t wait to get started.”
It was this deal that made everyone stand up and take notice of City – they were now direct rivals of all the top teams and were willing to spend big to bring in the best players.
Then manager Mark Hughes said it when talking about the deal that brought Adebayor to the club, saying; “Emmanuel is one of the best strikers in the Premier League since arriving from France and we are delighted that he has agreed to join us.
“Along with the other signings we’ve made over the past two windows, it will dramatically improve our ability to compete with the top teams.
“His arrival is another clear indication that we are determined to increase the players we have here with the best international talent.”
The transfer itself was not as successful as it was hoped for, with the Togolese striker spending just 18 months at the club and scoring 19 goals in 45 appearances before joining Real Madrid on loan after falling out of favor with the new one. boss Roberto Mancini. His legacy in the field? Arguably the biggest celebration in Premier League history.
But the message behind the transfer was big and does so to this day. The league’s top-performing players are almost immediately linked with a move to City, and they’re happy to pay the jackpot if necessary.
Riyad Mahrez cost Leicester over £ 60million after leading them to a title, Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Kyle Walker all cost Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham £ 50million each respectively.
City are the sharks of the Premier League transfer pool and everyone else is just fish waiting to be caught.
City will continue their new level of elitism when they send negotiations for Harry Kane and Jack Grealish this summer. It says a lot about the fact that despite the advertised fees and the clubs involved, the Champions are the favorites to get both deals simply because of their history of making deals.
It all started that day in 2009, when Adebayor turned rookie.
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