From the moment he signed in June last year, the majority of the Jack Army expected our union with Andre Ayew to be a short one, and that has proved to be the case after he signed for West Ham earlier in the week.
In truth he won’t be missed as much as you may think. Ayew is undoubtedly a talented player but for the Swans it was difficult to pin down his best position. He featured on the right, where his biggest strength was often his weakness. He played as an inside forward rather than a natural winger, which worked wonders when he made late darts into the box, but not so good when we were looking for width that the Ghanaian rarely offered.
Due to lacking striker options he was also deployed up front, and similarly did a decent job there but again he wasn’t wholly convincing in this position. We also couldn’t drop him into the number 10 position as he isn’t as good as Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Selling him for good money was probably the wisest thing to do, but should we have held out for more cash? I’ve said for the last few days that I believe we did and have looked at some stats for similar types of players, who have been sold for more money to try and back up my theory, namely Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Yannick Bolasie (who hasn’t yet moved but is the subject of a £30million bid from Everton).
In terms of goals in 2015/16 Ayew leads the way on twelve with Mane and Wijnaldum both on eleven and Bolasie some way back on five. Our former player is also marginally ahead on goals-per-game ratio on 0.35 with Mane on 0.3, Wijnaldum on 0.29 and Bolasie on 0.19.
Moving onto assists, and its Mane who leads the way here on six; Wijnaldum on five, Bolasie next on three and Ayew in last on two, the first of those was for Bafetimbi Gomis against Manchester United and the other for the same player at West Ham.
This clearly suggests than Ayew is as good as any of them when it comes to finding the net although he does not lay on a great deal for his opponents. So why then did we sell him for £4.5 million less than any of them and a staggering £14 million less than Mane?
He is as effective as any of these players yet we have sold at a significantly less price than some of our rivals have. We have seen what can happen when you dig your heals in and play hardball. Tottenham have been experts at it over the years and Southampton also seem to have the knack, their players have been sold for huge sums over the past few seasons.
We had some success with the Ashley Williams deal by rejecting Everton’s first bid last week which has forced them to come in with an extra £2 million for the deal to be accepted. We must make it harder for clubs to buy our players. We all know you can’t very often stop them going if they wish to move on, but you we should be putting higher prices on players heads to give us a better negotiating position.