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Profile: Andre Ayew

Hence Swansea City have stumped up a sizeable fee to bring Andre Ayew back to South Wales.

Ayew returns to SA1 almost 18 months after he departed to join West Ham United in a deal worth in excess of £20 million.

Given that he had joined the Swans on a free transfer just a year before leaving for East London, Ayew’s sale was deemed good business at the time.

Now the Swans believe bringing Ayew back will be another shrewd move given the influence he could have in the Liberty dressing room.

He may not have enjoyed the happiest stint as a Hammer, but Ayew proved during his first stint as a Swan that he can deliver in the Premier League.

He had previously shown his undoubted class in the colours of Marseille, while he has been a star of the Ghana side for a decade.

Ayew has in the past worn the colours of Marseille, plus those of his country, alongside younger brother Jordan.

Now the Jack Army can look forward to the intriguing prospect of seeing the Ayews playing in the same Swans team.

Jordan has been in scintillating form in recent weeks. If Andre can reach a similar level between now and the end of the season, the Swans’ hopes of staying in the top flight will be significantly boosted.

Like his sibling, Andre is a versatile player who is happy to operate anywhere in the forward line.

His favourite position is probably on the right flank, where he can cut in and do damage with his left foot.

But he can also operate behind the striker or as a leader of the line.

Ayew was often deployed as a centre-forward during his previous season with the Swans, when he finished as the club’s top scorer.

Signed from Marseille in June 2015, he made a memorable start to life in English football when he scored on debut against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Ayew delivered again in his first competitive appearance at the Liberty, displaying his aerial prowess for the first time by heading home in a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United.

Next came a goal in a 2-1 win over at Manchester United, before another important strike against one of the top sides as the Swans got a point against Spurs.

Ayew slid home a memorable late winner at Aston Villa in a game where Jordan had given the home side the lead.

There was a classy backheeled finish against Bournemouth, then a dynamic effort against Sunderland which gave evidence of Ayew’s ability to get across the turf.

Ayew then scored at Everton as the Swans clinched a first ever victory over the Toffees in Francesco Guidolin’s first game as the boss.

He also netted twice against Liverpool and then in a thumping win at West Ham before his last Swans goal – for the moment – came courtesy of a deflected free-kick against Manchester City.

Ayew’s ability to take set-pieces will be most welcome for Carlos Carvalhal, for the Swans have struggled with dead-ball deliveries at times this season.

And so too will the 28-year-old’s habit of delivering key goals.

He scored more than 50 times in almost 200 appearances at Marseille, while he netted 12 goals in 50 games – only 31 of which were starts – for West Ham.

His Swans record of 12 goals in 35 appearances was particularly impressive given that he was part of a side which struggled for much of the 2015-16 season.

Something similar second time around would be most welcome.

 

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