When a soccer legend is your dad and big brother is the future captain of Ghana’s national team, people expect big things from you. Now combine that with having to replace Christian Benteke’s 42 league goals scored in the past three seasons and there’s a lot of pressure on Jordan Ayew. After having the best season of his young career last season we’ll see if he can rise another level in the Premier League.
After spending eight years playing at all levels for Marseille, his dad Abedi Pele won the Champions League with them in 1993, the striker spent half of the 2013-14 campaign on loan at Sochaux where he scored five goals in 18 appearances. The next season, he made a move to Lorient and signed a four-year deal. In his only year with Les Merlus, the Ghana international showed more composure when he shot and improved his link-up play with teammates. Jordan scored 12 goals and had five assists in 31 appearances with a passing completion around 80%. The 23-year-old headed into this summer looking for a new club after his breakout campaign. But at first Lorient wasn’t willing to let their new star go.
“They said I could go for €10 million or €12 million, but now they want £10 million with £2 million in add-ons, which makes it about €17 million. It’s nonsense! I’m really annoyed, it’s amazing what they are doing to me. They pointed out how many millions [Aston] Villa paid for [Jordan] Amavi [£10 million] but I’m not Amavi. We’re two different players,” Ayew told French newspaper L’Equipe.
Amavi is a 21-year-old left-back that was at Ligue 1 club Nice and made over 50 appearances for the club before he left for Aston Villa this summer. The 2002 Coupe de France champions felt that Ayew was worth more because he is a forward and also because the Birmingham-based club were looking for someone to help fill the void Benteke left when he signed with Liverpool. Eventually a deal was made and the Villains acquired Ayew for a fee reportedly between £8-12 million. The team’s manager, Tim Sherwood, told his club’s website “I’m really pleased to bring Jordan to the football club. He is a fantastic young player who is perfectly suited to the Premier League.”
The move is also beneficial to three-time Coupe de la Ligue winner for international purposes also. The Black Stars’ all-time leading scorer Asamoah Gyan is now playing in China for Shanghai SIPG FC. He’s in the advanced stages of his career and the two-time Trophee des Champions winner has the chance to become a consistent player for his country. Jordan has been ridiculed for his poor performances in the national team, especially in the World Cup match against Germany last year. Jordan was open, dribbling toward goal with Gyan trailing him and available for a easy tap-in but Ayew decided to shoot right at Manuel Neuer instead of giving the ball to his teammate. The game ended in a 2-2 tie, which Ghana could’ve won and maybe advance to the knockout round of the World Cup. Fans hope that Ayew’s poor decision making is behind him and that he can grow to become a force for the four-time winners of the African Cup of Nations.
Playing in arguably the hardest league in the world will either improve Jordan or expose him. His big brother Andre signed for Swansea City and is looking forward to playing his sibling in the Premier League. They’ve both displayed ambition by leaving Ligue 1. But Andre is more proven as player while Jordan is still finding his way. Replacing Benteke is going to be very tough but at Aston Villa he’ll get the opportunity to shine and he better take advantage.
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