The key contributions just keep on coming for Andre Ayew , a player who looks evermore like he was born to play in the Premier League
Dede scored one and won a penalty as Swansea City crawled back from behind to snatch a 2-2 home draw with Bournemouth at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. Back to the English top flight following the international break, the former Marseille man continued just where he left off with his sixth strike of the season.
Ayew’s heroic showing was particularly impressive, not least because just days earlier he looked almost out of sorts playing for the Black Stars in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
Against Comoros in the away encounter in Mitsamiouli, Ayew was as helpless as the entire Black Stars team that was held to a scoreless stalemate by a gallant Les Coelecantes side. In the return encounter, Ghana struggled to pick up a 2-0 win, but the general performance, public verdict concluded, was not as convincing.
In both ties, Ayew tested Coelecantes goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina without success; a low drive hit the upright in the first leg, and, in Kumasi, the playmaker saw a free header from a perfectly weighted Baba Rahman cross parried away by Boina on 81 minutes.
On Saturday, however, it would be a case of deja vu in the Premier League.
oshua King put Bournemouth ahead on just nine minutes after tapping home a Junior Stanislas assist, before Dan Gosling added a second on 26 minutes.
Nevertheless, Ayew brought his side back into the game three minutes later, back-heeling a loose ball past goalkeeper Adam Federici to halve the deficit.
That was his sixth goal of the campaign.
The former Marseille attacker then turned provider 11 minutes later, winning a penalty after being fouled in the penalty box. Jonjo Shelvey stepped forward and neatly converted to restore parity.
A quick glance at the current top scorers chart sees Ayew ahead of some more established Premier League poster boys such as Raheem Sterling, Christian Benteke, Juan Mata, Bafetimbi Gomis, Diego Costa, Yaya Toure and Wayne Rooney.
But his game hasn’t only been about scoring.
Defensively, Ayew puts in the hard miles to relieve the pressure on his fullbacks. His clever runs have been a constant trouble for defenders, and his movement creates space for himself as well as his teammates. It’s just a surprise that he only has one assist so far this season.
Even more outstanding is the fact that the attacker’s goals have not only come against ‘smaller’ teams, but also, against sides of higher pedigree such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
“I think the signing of the summer could be Swansea’s Andre Ayew,” Arsenal legend Thierry Henry wrote in a column for The Sun after the playmaker’s goal and assist against United.
“They got him on a free from Marseille and he is really good. He will score goals, is not a typical winger, will get into the box, and is lethal in the air even though he is not tall.”
Henry hasn’t been the only legend watching.
“We often hear about foreign players needing time to adapt to the Premier League, not this guy [Ayew],” former Newcastle United and England striker Alan Shearer added.
“He's into it straight away and he looks like he's enjoying his football,”
Ayew’s highest number of goals in any one season stands at 11, that tally came at Marseille in 2010-11. However, with six strikes to his name in the first 13 games of the season already, he looks well placed to achieve a personal best.
As concerns rage around Swansea—with the future of Garry Monk being called into question—Ayew is a ray of light for the Welsh side. Two Swansea Player of the Month awards, as well as a Premier League Player for August gong say it all.