By Richard Clarke

Big, skilful, African, signed by Arsène Wenger, given the same Arsenal shirt number and in the form of their lives - the similarities between Kanu and Emmanuel Adebayor are striking.

The two forwards will be in opposition at Emirates Stadium on Saturday when Arsenal entertain Portsmouth. Wenger brought Kanu to English football on January 15, 1999 and Adebayor on January 13, 2006 so he is perfectly placed to compare the two 'twins'.

"There are plenty of similarities," he said at Friday's press conference. "They both have strong and intelligent bodies. They cover the ball and are very good with their shoulders.

"Adebayor is maybe a little bit more bulky but Kanu was always very shrewd as well to protect the ball.

"Kanu's in the form of his life right now. I'm not surprised that he is playing well but I am a bit surprised by the number of goals he scores. He has even started to score volleys with his left foot. That was never his strongest."

For his part Adebayor has hit crucial goals against Manchester United, Tottenham and Wigan this season. The 21-year-old openly admits he'll be playing against his idol in this fixture however his current manager believes there is much to admire in the Togolese striker's own game.

"I brought him because I felt he had the qualities to cope with English football," said Wenger. "He has the ingredients we don't have - physically strong, technically strong, good in the air.

"His attitude is spot on. I don't know what kind of problems he had before but I cannot complain at all. He is getting on well with everybody at the Club and working very hard in training.

"What I like about him is that he doesn't give up. He scored at Manchester United with five minutes to go and at Wigan with five minutes to go. That quality is really important if you are going to be a top-level team."

9/2 - Arsenal v Portsmouth: Emmanuel Adebayor to score the first goal

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Richard Clarke 15 Dec 2006