If it’s true then he has to go

Tuesday, 4 August 2020, 10:04
3 mins read

Yesterday’s reports gathered pace that PSG had offered €5m for the services of Andre Ayew to cover injuries to both Neymar and Mbappe.  It’s difficult to wonder why he would be the backup to the two world stars but if it is true then he will be on his way very soon.

Simply put, Andre Ayew is a luxury that Swansea cannot afford.  His goals last season certainly kept us in the hunt almost right to the very final whistle of the season but then again they should have done.  He was a Premier League player on a Premier League wage and close to one of the worst signings we have made as a club.  Not for his footballing ability but a financial liability put onto the club in a lazy transfer window where we just kept going back to players that we knew.

Ayew first time around was a good signing.  No transfer fee, good wages.  A good Premier League model to be adopting for a period.  You haven’t demolished your funds to get a player but you are paying what they want.  Second time round and £20m later you have a four year liability (financial) of a further £14m+ on the books and the rest, as they said, is well publicised.

The Sky Sports narrative during the play offs was that Ayew had stayed to fight for his place at Swansea because he was impressed with what Steve Cooper wanted to achieve.  The reality was that Ayew stayed at Swansea because, despite our best efforts, we were unable to get rid of him in two transfer windows last season.  And when we failed, we may as well play him given that we have to pay him.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Ayew was vital to us last season as it turned out.  I have referenced his goals but also – certainly in the early part of the season – his workrate was incredible.  There could have been some good man management of “put yourself in the shop window” which none of us can really complain about if it benefits the club.  But he was a good player.  Frustrating at times, throwing himself to the floor, arms waving in the air asking for decisions and sitting when they didn’t come.  But there is also a player who makes things happen and at our level now he could make things happen more often than he could in the Premier League.

But we also know that the club need him off the wage bill.  This isn’t a case of trying to hold onto a prized asset this is an asset we can no longer afford to keep.  €5m is cheap for a player of Ayew’s quality in my view (and of course a small fraction of what we paid for him) but when it brings into the club €5m and takes away a further £3.5m wage liability then it will prove to be one of the best pieces of business we can do this summer.

It is difficult to talk of Ayew without making everything sound his fault.  Let’s be clear here.  It is not his fault someone saw fit to may £20m for him.  It is not his fault they accompanied that with a £14m four year wage bill.  And it is not his fault that we have been unable to lose him from the wage bill for the last four transfer windows.  Probably rightly he was holding out for the terms of his contract so that just comes back to the people that signed off on the deal in the first place.

I do struggle a little that a club with the financial clout of PSG want a player like Ayew to provide the injury cover that is reported but I guess if you can pay almost £200m for Neymar then the cost of an Andre Ayew is your pocket money and if he does the job for the short term then they have lost nothing.  Expect games against the lower French top league sides and some cup ties to become the norm – read Fernando Llorente at Spurs for reference.

When he goes (it is when not if) he should go with our thanks for some good times at Swansea but they will always be tainted by a bad decision to bring him back in the first place, one from which the club is still recovering financially.

Good luck Andre.


Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.

Phil Sumbler

Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

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