The Andre Ayew profile
I am almost certain that Andre Ayew will become a fans favourite at the Liberty Stadium.
Go back and have look at the reception the Marseille crowd gave him after his final game for the club. Their farewell was so moving and emotional that Ayew burst into tears and had to be comforted by his team-mates.
It helps that his father was a Marseille legend – the 1993 Champions League winner Abedi Pele – but after making his debut in 2007 Andre quickly emerged from his father’s shadow.
After the World Cup in 2010 he was voted BBC African Footballer of the Year, a prize won by his Dad 24 years previously.
Ayew has great acceleration, impressive technique and despite being 5 ft 9 is excellent in the air.
He can play on the wing or in the centre of midfield and is also very hard working.
In fact I’ve always been impressed by his attitude.
For example I was in the stadium in Brasilia when Ghana played their final match of last year’s World Cup. The majority of the Ghana players seemed distracted by a bonus row and other off the pitch issues but not Ayew, who was still fighting to keep Ghana’s slim hopes of reaching the knockout stages alive.
Then in the dramatic penalty shoot-out earlier this year at the Africa Cup of Nations final the Ivory Coast goalkeeper Copa Barry tried to put Ayew off by shouting at him. Far from being distracted, Ayew completely ignored him, then calmly despatched the ball into the bottom corner before beating his chest and giving a few verbals back to the keeper.
I went to see him last month in Marseille and Ayew he told me that his camp had received offers from Italy, Germany and England but you could tell his dream was to play in the Premier League.
One or two top six clubs had a long look at him but I understand they wanted him to prove himself in the division first. They may live to regret that.
‘I’m looking for a great project for the future,’ Ayew told me in May.
Garry Monk and Huw Jenkins obviously sold him the Swansea project and I’m confident Ayew will thrive in South Wales.
What the man himself says
After signing for the Swans, Andre Ayew explained why he had chosen the South Wales club, including the influence Bafetimbi Gomis had on his decision.
‘I spoke to Bafe, who really wanted me to come here,’ said Ayew, in his first interview as a Swan.
‘He told me about the club’s record season and also about the team spirit, manager, training, the players and how everyone is united.
‘Those are great things for me to hear. I know the squad will help me settle in and we will help each other to make Swansea a better team – that’s what is important.
‘The project that the club has for the future is very exciting, and when I spoke to the chairman and manager 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.’
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