Mancini impressed by Ade form
City allowed the striker to join Spurs on a season-long loan last summer and began the campaign with Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli as their frontline forwards.
But with Tevez now out of favour after a dispute with the club and Dzeko and Balotelli both missing games through injury this month, City have occasionally been light up front.
In the meantime Adebayor has been impressing at White Hart Lane and his nine goals have helped lift Spurs into a title battle with Mancini's Premier League leaders.
When asked whether might have liked to have called upon Adebayor in those circumstances, Mancini said: "Probably, probably - but we didn't know with Carlos what would happen in Munich.
"We had four strikers. I think with four strikers you can play one year.
"I am happy for Manu because he is playing very well for Tottenham."
Togolese forward Adebayor spent the second half of last season on loan at Real Madrid after a disagreement with Mancini.
Mancini says he could not always guarantee the player, signed by Mark Hughes from Arsenal for £25million in 2009, a place in his team.
A decision over the 27-year-old's future will have to be made when his loan at Spurs expires in the summer and Mancini is unsure if he could find a place for him again in his team.
He said: "I don't know in this moment.
"I said I am happy because I watched a lot of games and he has played very well, scored a lot of goals.
"Sometimes it is possible that you have a situation like this - you have good players but he wants to play always. This is difficult in a top team.
"When you have three or four strong strikers you need to change.
"If you have one striker who needs to play always it is not easy."
Mancini will not have to contend with Adebayor as Spurs visit the Etihad Stadium for an eagerly-anticipated encounter on Sunday.
The restrictions of the loan preclude the former Monaco man from facing his parent club in a game that could have big implications for the title race.
City could extend their lead over third-place Spurs, who have lost just three times all season, to eight points with victory.
Mancini said: "I think in this moment there are three clubs - City, [Manchester] United and Tottenham who can win the title.
"After that, maybe Chelsea because things can change in the next four or five games.
"But I think to recover 10, 11 points on three teams is difficult.
"I think Tottenham are one of the best teams in the Barclays Premier League, like Arsenal, like Chelsea. They are a strong team."
City thrashed Harry Redknapp's side 5-1 last time the sides met in August.
Yet that was only Spurs' second game of the season and they then turned their campaign around with an eye-catching 11-match unbeaten run.
Mancini said: "We played five months ago. It was totally different, it was their second match.
"When you start the season anything can happen because maybe all the squad are not ready to play 100%. You maybe need four, five or six games to be confident.
"Now it is different and I think Tottenham are one of the best teams.
"They have 20-22 international players, and they are not all young players. For me they can win the title.
"It is better to lose one time 5-1 than five times 1-0.
"You can take one bad day when you concede three, four or five goals - it can happen. It happened to United, to Arsenal."