After five successful years with the first team of his boyhood club Marseille, Andre Ayew decided to take the next step by opting for a more competitive country, England.
After five years, playing for two clubs in the top two divisions, has Ayew’s journey been a success or not?
This question has emerged because the just-ended 2020-21 season could be Ayew’s last in England, a country that has been his home since 2015.
The 31-year-old has left Swansea City and is free to join any club when his contract officially expires on July 1, 2021.
Ayew’s England expedition started in 2015 when he joined Swansea City on a free transfer, signing a four-year contract at the Premier League club.
A surprise decision since clubs better than Swansea in terms of achievements had made contact with Ayew, who had 85 goal contributions (60 goals and 25 assists) in 209 appearances in France.
“I felt this was the right place for me. I felt that my desire to play in the Premier League and wanting to grow as a player meant that Swansea was the best solution for me in every way.
“Seeing the honesty and desire of the club made me feel that they really wanted me to come. They have proved that in all ways,” Ayew justified his decision.
He had to justify himself on the pitch too, and he did that brilliantly. Ayew finished his debut season as Swansea’s top scorer with 12 goals.
Six of those goals came in Swansea’s big games, netting a brace against Liverpool and also finding the net versus Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspurs, and Manchester City.
What makes the statistics compelling is the fact that he featured mostly on the wings, switching from left to right.
In a league which most players struggle in their first season, Ayew exceeded expectations and his reward was rather immediate.
West Ham, who finished four places above Swansea that season, signed Ayew for £20.5 million, a club record fee at the time.
Unfortunately for Ayew, his two years stay in London was an unforgettable one. Ayew was forced off the field with a hamstring injury on his Premier League debut for West Ham.
He missed almost half of the season but still managed to score six goals.
In 2017-18, the Ghanaian’s injury troubles continued, forcing him to leave during the second half and return to Swansea, where he reunited with his brother, Jordan Ayew.
Ayew rejoined on a three-and-a-half-year deal which cost the Swans £18 million, making the Ghanaian the club’s record signing to date, but Swansea didn’t mind spending because they were in dire need of inspiration to beat the drop.
Unluckily, Ayew did very little as the club suffered relegation.
Before departing West Ham, he had registered six goals so his failure to score for Swansea meant he achieved his worst scoring season.
Ayew moved to Turkey, where he was unsuccessful whilst on loan with Fenerbahçe. The Turkish giants had an option to make the deal permanent but they didn’t exercise it.
Ayew had suitors in France and other European countries, however, he made a shocking decision to play for Swansea in the Championship.
Many people, who saw the league as below Ayew’s standard, weren’t pleased but they had to respect his decision and hope for the best.
Three years on, and Ayew is leaving the Championship a far better player with his confidence fully restored.
For someone who is not a natural striker, Ayew is now rated as a prolific goalscorer.
In the past two seasons, he has scored 35 goals in 109 games, leading Swansea twice to the Championship play-offs.
It is unfortunate that primary goal of securing Premier League promotion with the club couldn’t be achieved, but most importantly, he has rediscovered himself and despite being in the twilight of his career, Ayew is more determined than ever to achieve more.
Ayew’s England statistics (Transfermarkt)
Swansea City – 47 goals and 19 assists
West Ham – 12 goals and 5 assists
Having assessed Ayew’s time in England, we leave you to answer the aforementioned question.
By: Enoch Fiifi Forson|3news.com