West Brom find themselves second-from-bottom going into this weekend’s crucial Premier League tie against Sheffield United, but might their fortunes have been more favourable had they signed Andre Ayew?
Ahead of the summer domestic deadline, the Baggies were linked with a move for the Ghanian forward by the Daily Mail, who claimed he had emerged as a potential late target for a host of top-flight teams.
Ayew rejoined Swansea City in the summer of 2018 for a club-record £18m having left them two years earlier to link up with Albion boss Slaven Bilic at West Ham.
It’s no wonder the Croatian wanted to work with him again…
The 30-year-old continues to be a crucial cog in Steve Cooper’s attack having scored six goals in 11 starts so far this campaign. He has also provided one assist and is averaging 3.3 shots, 2.3 dribbles and 1.2 key passes per game, via WhoScored.
Ayew has split time between playing as a centre-forward as well as a right-winger, the position he primarily played under Bilic at the Hammers.
This is also a role that Albion are particularly weak in with natural no.10 Matheus Pereira often being deployed there over the likes of Matty Phillips, Kyle Edwards and Kamil Grosicki.
You’d imagine that the veteran, who has bags of experience in the Premier League (89 appearances), would’ve been a shoo-in to start there for West Brom.
Ayew is someone who Bilic rates “very highly” having dubbed him a “game-changer” during their time at the Irons, and that theme has continued into this season after newly-appointed Sheffield Wednesday boss Tony Pulis was left in awe at his impact last week.
Former Baggies starlet Yan Dhanda is also a huge fan, speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “Andre is a goalscorer. He scores goals, and if you put the ball in the box nine times out of 10 Andre is going to be in the right position and he is going to score.”
Experienced, prolific and creative – you can’t help but feel for Albion as they could’ve done with a player of this calibre right now. Sporting director Luke Dowling clearly made a massive mistake in not signing the tricky wide man this summer.
Perhaps they ought to revisit the deal in January to try and salvage their place in the English top-flight.
AND in other news, West Brom can strike a killer blow to their relegation rivals this January…