This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
For much of last season, Jordan Ayew cut a forlorn figure up top.
Speaking of ineffectiveness, it was this particular adjective that the former Swansea man was not against Everton on the opening day.
Ayew was voted as Man of the Match by the Eagles supporters for his efforts against the Toffees, and it is hard to argue with that decision given how well he played.
In attack alongside Christian Benteke, the 27-year-old was one of Palace’s most influential players on the day.
The 6 foot forward was involved in some of the best attacking moments for Roy Hodgson’s side, having had one shot, recorded one key pass and embarking on one dribble against the Merseysiders.
He had a chance to equal last season’s goal tally in just the first game of the campaign when Christian Benteke put him one on one with Jordan Pickford, although unfortunately, the England international was equal to his effort.
Speaking of Benteke, it was alongside the Belgian on Saturday where Ayew looked far more potent than he did when alone last season, as the former Liverpool striker was unavailable for a large period through injury – he missed 22 games last term with a knee problem, meaning he was barely around to play alongside the Ghanaian.
Ayew is a fairly diminutive figure on the pitch and doesn’t win a massive amount of aerial duels, so having him next to a more physical presence in Benteke seemed to do him a world of good in terms of getting involved – as aforesaid, it was Benteke who slid Ayew in on goal with some nice combination play, so you can definitely argue that there is a potential partnership there.
After a troublesome campaign last term, Palace look to have found a way to get a bit more out of Ayew.