Last year, Emmanuel Adebayor gave his version of how things unfolded at Arsenal but he left some key elements out to make himself look better and, as he has announced his retirement, I thought it a good time to look back at that.

Emmanuel Adebayor, during his Arsenal days.
Emmanuel Adebayor, during his Arsenal days.
  • Emmanuel Adebayor’s move from Arsenal to City in 2009 was more complex than previously stated, involving rising financial demands from the player.
  • According to agent Jon Smith, Adebayor initially showed interest in the transfer but later seemed to sway towards staying with Arsenal.
  • Arsene Wenger played a significant role in the transfer, encouraging Adebayor to leave, contrary to the player’s recent statements.

In 2009, Emmanuel Adebayor moved from the Gunners to City, reportedly chasing a salary increase.

In 2022, he said (again) that the move only came about because Arsene Wenger told him he was no longer wanted, which is true, but only half the story.

The untold story behind Adebayor’s departure from Arsenal

In Jon Smith’s excellent and revealing book, The Deal: Inside the World of a Super-Agent, he explains it wasn’t quite as simple as that.

According to the agent, Adebayor originally responded positively to the idea of a transfer to City.

He said that “everything would need to be right” to leave Arsenal, where he was happy, but Smith took that to mean he just wanted more money.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Emmanuel Adebayor of Manchester City celebrates in front of the Arsenal fans after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the City of Manchester Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Abu Dhabi United Group had just bought City, and their influx of cash meant they could afford to pay. The longer things went on, though, the more Adebayor seemed to change his mind.

His financial demands kept going up, and he seemed to want to stay at Arsenal after all.

Wenger’s role in Adebayor’s move to Manchester City

At that point, Arsene Wenger reportedly “put his arm around Manny and politely but firmly told him that the bridge has basically been crossed now”.

The manager told the striker he could stay, but he might end up in the reserves if he did.

With that, the two clubs finalised a deal and Adebayor joined City.

Adebayor’s version of events: comparing 2018 and 2022 statements

This story fits with comments from the player made in 2018, a similar version to the one he is still telling in 2022.

The then-33-year-old told TRT World (via Standard): “I had a meeting with Arsene Wenger in his office when he told me I had to leave because he doesn’t see my future anymore in Arsenal. I have to move on in my life.

“I was like ‘I’m going to stay.’ He was like ‘no there is not even a fight organised. We are not going to organise any fight for you. You move out or you stay here and don’t play any games.'”

Perhaps, by that point, Wenger was fed up with Adebayor messing the two clubs around.

Maybe he just wanted to get the deal over the line so he could spend the money.

Whatever his reasoning, it seems like Wenger had a bigger part to play in the striker’s departure than he previously let on and makes Adebayor’s crazy celebration in front of the Arsenal fans that little bit more understandable.

Still, if Adebayor hadn’t went flirting with City in the first place, none of that would have happened.