Emmanuel Adebayor has been excluded from the Tottenham first team and told to train with the club’s reserves.
Tottenham were active in the transfer window, bolstering their forward line with the signings of Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela as manager Andre Villas-Boas prepared for the eventual departure of winger Gareth Bale, who left for Real Madrid in a world-record move before the deadline.
Soldado has already scored four goals since joining from Valencia, while Lamela and Jermain Defoe are both likely to be in competition for a place in the side.
Adebayor has not featured in competitive action since being granted extended compassionate leave by the club following the death of his brother, and he is presently at home in Togo for personal reasons.
The 29-year-old had expressed confidence that he would cement a place in the starting XI, insisting last week that he would “be the first (choice)” despite the respective qualities of his new team-mates.
However, a quick return to the first team now appears unlikely for the former Arsenal and Manchester City man, with Villas-Boas revealing on Thursday that Adebayor has been instructed to train with the reserves.
“At the moment Ade is not with us, because we have granted him authorisation to stay up until Monday in his country for personal reasons, so he’s not going to be involved against Norwich (on Saturday),” Villas-Boas said.
“Up to when I find it appropriate, he will train with the development team.”
Adebayor joined Tottenham on loan from Manchester City in 2011 following a short-term stint with Real Madrid, finishing the 2011-12 campaign as the club’s top scorer with 18 goals.
The Togo international moved to White Hart Lane on a permanent deal in August 2012, but could not reproduce the same form last season, netting just eight times in 34 appearances.