We have seen yet again another master-stroke in what I call a progressively steady improvement in the career of the soon to be Blackstars captain. The pride we take as fans when we see our fellow Ghanaian players improve abroad hardly goes unnoticed, due to how quick we are to respond to issues and decisions our players deal with in their career.
As quick as we are to jump into the celebration of success, most fans, especially the English Premier League lovers in Ghana as well as some selected media personnel have grumbled and mumbled within their jaws expressing what can be termed in an overall fashion as mixed feelings with regards to the latest move by the former BBC African Footballer of the Year award winner, Andre Dede Ayew. It’s a question as to whether he has made the right choice in terms of the quantum jump we expected to see in his career after an impressive spell at Swansea City. Others feel as though he should have waited to carve niche for himself with the Welsh club, possibly become a cult hero before moving on to an EPL title contending club. Well, the burden of one’s own choice is not felt, and regardless of what ever feeling it is, I think Andre Ayew is going to be the next big thing for West Ham United after Dimitri Payet.
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In his maiden season in presumably the most difficult league in the world and hostile to newcomers, Andre Ayew demonstrated that not only did he come in as a great bargain, he actually came in to make a huge statement. He started his campaign off with a determined finish against Chelsea on his debut where the Swans held the then defending champions to a 2-2 draw. He skated through the premier league playing 34 matches, recording 2 assists and bagging 12 goals, with 11 of those goals converted within the 18 yard box. Considering his position in the advanced role in midfield, his defensive stats were impressive as well, winning 55 tackles giving him a rate of 73% tackles won in the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign.
Andre Dede Ayew fits in perfectly in the immediate plans of West Ham United. After an impressive performance last season, where their entire performance was credited on their away form, earned them a European spot. West Ham United in the modern history of football have not been a force to reckon with in any European Championship level. Their preparations and ambitions after acquiring the 60000 capacity London Stadium and breaking the bank for Andre Ayew shows the Hammers are up to mount a bigger challenge in earning a top four spot this season and also improving their European record in the UEFA Europa League.
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Ayew’s immense experience with Marseille within the stratosphere of European competitions and also the purported French-chemistry that exists between him and the flamboyant Payet could see the sprouting of yet another duo who could mount a challenge against the Mahrez-Vardy tag team.
Ayew presents Slaven Bilic a tactical buffet to pick and choose from with his ability to play anywhere across the attack and not shying away from defensive duties when the need arises. This is not to say that the price tag of a player guarantees him a starting berth regardless of his form, but there is no shred of a doubt, that with the club record fee of £20 million, the management of West Ham will not fancy their priced asset spending more time warming the bench even with a rough start to his campaign, hence his valuation indirectly renders him more time to settle.
It is safe to say that Andre Ayew’s move illustrates how determined two ambitious partners are willing to make success together and have identified how well their needs meet. It’s all glitz and glamor when you excel with Big name clubs, but the Big name is always not far from overshadowing the recognition you deserve by virtue of your sacrifices. The Leicester story cannot even be started without mentioning Vardy or Mahrez. It will be an honor for me personally and to every Ghanaian for Andre Dede Ayew to be acknowledged as the Hand that wielded the Hammers into success as his father did with Marseille.