Something strange happened at Selhurst Park this week. No, not the fact that Crystal Palace signed free agent Emmanuel Adebayor on a deal until the end of the season, rather the insistence of so many onlookers that this inspired capture is somehow misguided.
The extent to which the Eagles needed to recruit some quality up front was not in question. Their only goal in six Premier League games since Christmas was an own goal.
The 2015/16 top-flight figures of the strikers already at the club is disturbingly awful. Connor Wickham has one in 12, Marouane Chamakh has nought in eight, Dwight Gayle and Fraizer Campbell both have zero in seven, while the departed Patrick Bamford and Glenn Murray were nil for six and two. That's an accumulative total of one goal in 42 appearances, and even that was a penalty.
Surely there isn't a person on the planet who would deny that Adebayor is an upgrade on those options, with 96 career Premier League goals a pretty punchy counterpoint to throw at anyone who disputes that conclusion.
The main argument against Adebayor revolves around his character - the perception that he isn't the most dependable performer and that he is prone to get into his comfort zone after passing a certain amount of time with a team - but Palace have removed this concern with a short-term contract. The Togolese attacker is always exceptional in his first six months in new surroundings.
He introduced himself to the Premier League with four goals in his first eight Arsenal outings in 2006, scored 14 times in 25 starts in his first Manchester City campaign - including four in his first four starts - and then struck five times in six La Liga starts when sent on loan to Real Madrid.
A powerful initial impression was essential when he was loaned to Tottenham in 2011/12 and had to prove himself to a fanbase who despised him when he was at the Emirates, and he did so with a spectacular season, scoring 17 goals in 33 league matches and creating a further 11.
So Palace really have nothing to worry about for the remainder of 2015/16: it is when he emerges as such a hit this term and the dilemma of whether to offer an extension in the summer arises that things will get complicated.
Until then, you may wish to consider the 2.546/4 on the Eagles finishing in the top half. If they are just one point off the pace - and within three points of seventh - with such ineffective forwards, the potential to climb now that they have a goalscorer is immense.
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