Rafael van der Vaart believes it is imperative for Tottenham to retain the services of Emmanuel Adebayor, following the latter's match-winning display against Swansea City.

The 28-year-old Togolese striker is on loan at White Hart Lane from Manchester City, and is due to return to the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season.

Adebayor has thrived in north London, having scored 14 goals for Spurs this season, but his wages threaten to scupper the permanent move he craves.

The former Arsenal forward is currently paid £170,000-per-week, of which Spurs cover £65,000, and the north London club would have to smash their wage structure to afford Adebayor's signature.

Van der Vaart, meanwhile, is desperate for Adebayor to secure a full-time switch to Spurs, having struck up an impressive understanding with the latter over the course of the season.

The Dutch forward set-up the first of Adebayor's two goals during the 3-1 defeat of Swansea on Sunday, and ranks the City man alongside the greatest strikers he has ever played with.

“He is a great player for us, works his socks off and we love him here,” Van der Vaart told the Evening Standard.

“He played for Real Madrid, Arsenal and City and I was surprised he came but I hope he stays.

“He is a top striker, one of the best I’ve played with. I played with Ruud van Nistelrooy, (with Real Madrid and Holland) he was fantastic.

"Normally strikers wait for their chances and score but he [Adebayor] is working and even when he doesn’t score he is still important for the team and that’s what makes him a big man for us.

"Last season I had a good understanding with [Peter] Crouch but with him it’s even better. He is tall, strong and also is not selfish.”

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