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16th Jan 2017

Here’s why Emmanuel Adebayor wears the number 4 shirt for Togo

If you didn't know before, you do now

Tom Victor

Throughout his time in English football, Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been associated with the number 25 shirt.

He wore the number for both Arsenal and Manchester City, and again last season when he spent six months with Crystal Palace.

However, when it comes to international football, the 32-year-old has consistently opted to wear number four, despite playing up front for his country.

Well, as it happens, the reason he wears 4 for Togo – as is the case with the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations – is the same reason he has a fondness for 25 at club level: Nwankwo Kanu.

As noted in an Observer profile from back in 2007, when Adebayor was enjoying his most prolific season of his career at Arsenal (he finished the season with 24 league goals), the former Monaco man idolised Kanu when he was growing up.

“He has the same mentality as Kanu but Adebayor can defend as well as attack. I really believe that in two years he can be African Player of the Year,” former Togo defender Eric Akoto said.

The Nigerian forward spent more than five years at Highbury, scoring upwards of 40 goals for the club, before going on to enjoy spells with West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth.

He wore the number 25 for the Gunners, as well as during his time with West Brom, but he took the number 4 shirt at international level.

Incidentally, we’ve noticed that the Nigerian frontman’s namesake Hal Robson-Kanu wears the number 4 for Nwankwo’s former club West Brom, and revealed that he made the choice for the same reason. The more you know.

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