Soccer News of Sunday, 19 July 2015
While many of Ghana’s big name players who we are expecting to move this summer have already completed their transfers, Jordan Ayew remains at FC Lorient…at least for the time being.
Michael Essien has swapped AC Milan for Panathinaikos, Andre Ayew moved to Swansea City when his contract at Olympique de Marseille ended, and Asamoah Gyan brought a close to his fruitful stay with Al Ain to sample life in China with Shanghai SIPG.
However, while Ayew stepped down in club stature—albeit moving to a bigger league (the biggest, if you believe Thierry Henry)—his younger brother Jordan has the opportunity of moving to a grander stage this summer.
Three clubs are reportedly interested in the Ghana international.
As soon as Herve Renard took the hotseat at LOSC Lille, Les Dogues were rumoured to be interested in the striker.
The former Cote d’Ivoire coach is a long-term admirer of Jordan, and has a personal relationship with the 23-year-old. The images of Ayew and Renard playing the roles of big brother and kindly uncle during Andre’s teary episode at the climax of the 2015 Cup of Nations were a perfect illustration of fraternal and paternal affection at its finest.
The move would also make sense; Jordan is already established within French football, and there would be none of the teething problems that might have accompanied a move overseas.
The Pierre-Mauroy outfit are also losing Divock Origi—who will be at Liverpool from now on—and are in need of a new striker.
A partnership with the powerful Nolan Roux could bear fruit, as long as the former Brest man remains at the club, while the prospect of linking up with the glittering Sofiane Boufal—one of the stars of the second half of the Ligue 1 campaign—would surely appeal.
However, while Lille would offer a union with a sympathetic Renard—and for a confidence player like Jordan, the faith of a manager could prove invaluable—another appealing offer may come in the form of Bordeaux.
Les Girondins, like Lille, were fairly recent Ligue 1 champions, although the changing landscape of French football means they are working in a considerably different context these days.
Jordan is understood to be under consideration as a potential replacement for Diego Rolan, who has been linked with a move for Newcastle United.
Unlike Lille, Bordeaux could offer Jordan a return to European football; Willy Sagnol’s side have qualified for the Europa League following a sixth-place finish in last season’s Ligue 1, and they could offer the Black Star a route back to continental competition.
Similarly, there is a buzz around Bordeaux at the moment.
The club ended the season strongly—losing only one of their last eight league games, and two of their previous 17. Once the team found their feet under Sagnol, after a sluggish start, they were one of the most competent outfits in the French top flight, and great things are expected of them during the coming campaign.
Similarly, the Gascon heavyweights have recently moved into a new ground—having unveiled their €170 million, 42,115-seater stadium for the penultimate match of the season. While transitions to new stadia are not always easy, the switch should improve the club’s status and could catapult them to the next level.
It’s over double the size, for example, of Lorient’s modest Stade du Moustoir, and while Lille appear to be shedding star players at an alarming rate in recent weeks, Sagnol is cultivating an exciting, multi-talented squad in the Gironde.
However, if Jordan is merely looking for the opportunity to star on a bigger stage, then surely the rumoured interest from Borussia Dortmund must have piqued his interest.
The initial interest, as reported by Le Telegramme, was dismissed as a prank by Lorient, although the player himself has admitted, according to Bild, that he would be interested by a possible switch to BVB.
Despite their recent troubles—their disastrous season, the departure of Jurgen Klopp and the incessant transfer speculation surrounding their biggest stars—Dortmund are still a European giant and would offer Jordan the chance of regular runs in the Champions League knockout stages.
Dortmund’s rumoured interest may intensify should Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang—who has been linked to Arsenal—depart, while the prospect of the former OM man linking up with the Gabon hitman could be tantalising.
Beyond Aubameyang, who managed 16 goals in 33 starts last term, no other Dortmund star managed more than seven. Marco Reus was the second-highest scorer, but there are no guarantees that he will still be at the Westfalenstadion beyond the summer.
Jordan managed 12 for struggling Lorient last term, the prospect of him linking up with the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Reus—should he stay—is one that should delight Ghana fans everywhere.