Emmanuel Adebayor, the centre-forward who was out of favour at Manchester City under the stewardship of Roberto Mancini, has made a loan move (with a view to an £18m permanent deal in the summer) to Spain and the nine-time European Champions Real Madrid.
Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has recently been at loggerheads with the board at the Bernabeu, in particular Jorge Valdano, over his wanting of a new striker in the absence of the injured Argentina international, Gonzalo Higuain, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Mourinho has been desperate to bring in a new frontman, with only Karim Benzema, the French international who has only two league goals this season, remaining in his squad as an experienced out-and-out central striker.
And, it would appear that the board are backing their boss – charged with breaking the domestic domination of Barcelona – and have given into his demands with the signing of the former Arsenal and Monaco striker Adebayor.
But what of the Togo international, whose performances this season at the City of Manchester Stadium have, despite his hat-trick against Lech Poznan in the Europa League, been of someone who would rather be somewhere else?
Can he really be the difference in Real winning any of La Liga, the Champions League or the Copa Del Ray this season?
For this is a player who hasn’t won a title in senior football just yet – the closest he has come to silverware was with Arsenal in the 2007 League Cup when the Gunners were beaten by Chelsea, and Adebayor was sent-off.
This is the big move for Adebayor, a player who has always been keen to talk himself up – remember, when the former African Player of the Year was discussing a new contract at the Emirates Stadium once upon a time, he requested parity with the then Gunners captain and club record-goalscorer Thierry Henry – and he’ll need to prove himself to the Portugese manager, who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
Now, this is the moment when the penny needs to drop with the big striker.
If he can’t work himself into the ground at the biggest club in world football, when surrounded by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Xabi Alonso and Spain’s World Cup winning captain Iker Casillas, and prove to everyone that he is a genuine world-class talent, then he will just be another talent who could have been so much more.
Adebayor has six months to prove himself.
Six months to show the ability that Arsene Wenger first saw when he plucked him from relative obscurity at Monaco, and that he showed in glimpses at Arsenal, until the point where he’d had enough of the player’s attitude and shipped him off to City for mega-money in 2009.
But more than that, six months to prove that he is hungry to be successful.
For if he doesn’t prove to Jose Mourinho, to his new team-mates, and to the Madridistas, that he is hungry to improve himself and win trophies, then come June it’ll be ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and he’ll be back sitting on the bench in Manchester.
He’s got all the tools to be a success and to fire Real Madrid to glory in the absence of Higuain (he’ll almost certainly be ahead of Benzema in the pecking order because, for whatever reason, Mourinho doesn’t seem to fancy the former Lyon striker) .
He’s big, strong, powerful and blessed with great pace – the potential on the counter-attack for Real Madrid with him, Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria breaking at defences is frightening.
But he’s also got a remarkably subtle touch for a big man, is capable of sublime pieces of skill and can be a very cool finisher.
These abilities have never been in question, and they will undoubtedly be assets to Real Madrid in the time that he is at the club.
What has been in question is his mentality.
And if there is a manager anywhere that can strike a chord with the player and get the best out of the mercurial Emmanuel Adebayor, then surely it is the master psychologist Jose Mourinho.
And if it is, and Mourinho, Adebayor and Madrid can topple the mighty Barcelona in the next five months or so, then both player and manager may well garner themselves a place in Real Madrid folklore.