West Ham deal entrenches Dede as new poster boy of Ghana football

Dede Ayew Swan
Dede Ayew made his EPL debut after signing for Swansea City in 2015/2016
The photos from Andre Ayew’s presentation as a West Ham United player bore a striking semblance to when he arrived at Swansea City last season. White shirt, that broad smile and striking daddy Abedi Pele by his side in his smart suit.
For the second straight summer, Abedi’s boy has provided potentially the most significant transfer involving a Ghanaian player. This summer too, like the last one, the transfer activity involving Ghanaian players provides a telling insight into the path the careers of many Ghanaian players is travelling.
Dede Ayew West Ham
The insight is not that Abedi Pele has been a central figure in the careers of his kids especially Dede. It is that as time has gone on, the individual power base of Ghana football is shifting and that increasingly the old guard that dominated our thoughts, generated clicks and swaggered around in Ghana football is changing.
Not long ago, this would have been a summer where we would have been consumed by thoughts on Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, John Mensah’s glass knees or whether Richard Kingson was set for another season watching games from the stands and getting paid for it.
That period was a reflection of a boom for many of the players who had propelled Ghana to new levels of global football recognition and the attention we gave them, the clubs that went after them reflected that.
These days it is all change. The transfer activity involving Ghanaian players is almost like a choreograph of the careers of Ghana’s biggest names, established and rising stars. It has also become a template for judging whose career has taken the home straight to the finish line, which one is warming up and which one is suffering from fuel shortage halfway through the journey.
Take the dominant stories of this summer and those strands runs through all of them. We have always known for sometime now that the likes of Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince Boateng are heading towards the twilight zone of their careers if they are not already there. Look at the nature of transfer activity around them or the complete lack of it and what it says.
Essien Pana
Essien had featured for AC Milan & Real Madrid before moving to Greece
Essien has left Panathinaikos with his next destination not exactly clear. It is almost as if his career has been in full scale countdown state since he left Chelsea; movement every season, long spells on the bench throughout and general uncertainty.
Muntari Ittihad
Sulley Muntari signed for Ittihad last season
When Muntari left AC Milan and headed to Saudi Arabia, it felt as if his time was just about up too. After a season where he barely  set the league alight,  he is back on the job market and without much prospect of figuring in the big time again. Maybe we now understand why as he says, he is available for selection for Black Stars games again.
Boateng had made an impact at AC Milan
Boateng had made an impact at AC Milan before things took a nosedive
Kevin Prince Boateng is another of those big names whose transfer paints the perfect picture. Boy wonder at Tottenham Hotspurs, rescued by Portsmouth, offered the chance to the big stage via Ghana at the 2010 world cup, good at AC Milan for one season then literally off at Schalke since. Now he has settled in at Las Palmas for one season  ready to work his  way up again. Given Boateng’s history with the Ghana national team, not many would particularly care the turn his club career has taken.
Gyan (middle) made a big move from UAE to China
Gyan (middle) made a big move from UAE to China
Elsewhere, Asamoah Gyan is having to convince people every day that he is still considered relevant at Shanghai SIPG  after reports that he had been demoted. Gyan insists it is not true, the club says it is not true either. What both parties have not addressed is just how the recent injuries plus arrival of Hulk and other big names at the club does to the  future of Gyan’s mega rich contract.
Atsu has had an unsuccessful spell at Everton in the EPL
Atsu once had an unsuccessful spell at Everton in the EPL
The transfers involving some of the players central to the Black Stars at the moment has not been particularly great too. Christian Atsu is in line to be shipped out by Chelsea again. Four years after signing for Chelsea from FC Porto, the Ghana star is yet to play a competitive game for them. Even worse, he seems to retrogress with every loan spell. His next move would be interesting.
Baba Rahman played but did not convince for Chelsea which is why it serves a good purpose for him to head out on loan at Schalke 04.
Baba Rahman Schalke
Rahman will be at Schalke on loan for the next season
Thankfully in this transfer window, there has been little exaggerated reports of which clubs want which players apart from the laughable Gyan to Chelsea rumours.
It may be that we have all grown wiser but the slow pace of activity for Ghanaian players at the highest level may also signal something we know which is that our players are good but not the type who  are considered A listers yet.
Dede Ayew WestHam
Dede Ayew’s switch to West Ham is a club record deal
Dede Ayew is different. Purchased at no fee  by Swansea City and shipped on for 25m pounds. It is a great piece of business by Swansea. It is a great testament to how well he did in his first season too. And it is a reminder who Ghana’s biggest football name is at the moment. These days it is not even up for debate.
By Michael Oti Adjei||Ghana
Twitter: @3Newsgh

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