Just when you think that the big transfers have all been done and dusted for the summer, another one comes along out of nowhere. Although the biggest news of the day was Manchester United’s official announcement of the signing of Paul Pogba, the French midfielder’s transfer had been ongoing for months and didn’t come as a surprise at all. West Ham United’s signing of Andre Ayew however came as a massive surprise.
August 8th, 2016 was a very good day for West Ham United in the transfer market. They’ve been busy all summer long but were particularly busy in completing two massive deals on this day. Early on in the morning, the Hammers announced the arrival of Olympiacos’ left back, Arthur Masuaku to fill the void that has been left with Aaron Creswell’s injury. With the Premier League edging closer minute by minute, the signing of Masuaku looked likely to be Slavan Bilic’s last signing before he finalizes his squad for the opening day of the season. But then shockingly, out of nowhere, the club smashed their transfer fee record with a 20.5 million pound signing of Swansea’s best attack-minded player last season, Andre Ayew.
Although Swansea City are making a massive profit after picking up Ayew from Marseille for absolutely free back in 2015, I can’t help but wonder where they go from here. Ayew was their best player in attack in 2015-16 and was likely going to have the same sort of impact at Liberty Stadium again in 2016-17. Now Swansea are left with a pocket full of cash with no one to spend it on. Wayne Routledge is the obvious replacement in the side but he has never looked particularly good enough to be a starting player for a Premier League side and is nowhere near the quality of Ayew. The loss of Andre Ayew could be a massive blow for Swansea City as they now look in deep water with just 4 days until the season begins. Players like Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Fernando Llorente and Lukasz Fabianski should be enough to keep the Swans safe but if they don’t sign another winger soon, they could be in serious trouble in 2016-17.
In terms of West Ham, the signing of Ayew is just one more fantastic addition that the club have made in this off-season as they look to make a push for the top four. Ayew can play a number of different roles but will probably most likely take up a position on right wing, especially if Payet plays on the left rather than centrally. However, the two former Ligue 1 stars played together for several years at Marseille and were a very deadly duo back in their time together in France. Ayew himself scored 60 times in 202 appearances for the French side, winning the Coupe de la Ligue twice. If they can rekindle that sort of form together again at West Ham and play off of Andy Carroll’s strengths West Ham United will surely succeed again in 2016-17 and may even have a shot at going deep in the UEFA Europa League as well.
Although the signing of Ayew is a surprising one, it is a very fantastic one for West Ham United and just contributes even further to this crazy transfer window. The Ghanain midfielder will certainly succeed at West Ham United, but will it be enough to take them back into Europe next season? Only time will tell as the Premier League is now just 4 days away.