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Find out what’s ‘The Ayew Method’

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A year ago after Andre Ayew signed for Swansea, I tweeted this.

Andre Ayew will play just one season at Swansea.Mark this.

A year, 12 goals and 2 assists later , I have been proven right as West Ham have splurged £20m on the Ghana forward to make him the club's record signing. Not bad for a 26-year-old footballer whose best position is still up in the air.

The purpose of this article though is not to purr about the qualities of Ayew the footballer. That is not in doubt. It is to highlight a skill he has mastered throughout his career that other players from Ghana can learn from; playing the transfer market.

The European transfer market is a land mine for even the best represented and managed players but it is one that Ayew and his family have mastered.

The past few years has seen good Ghanaian players involved in transfers across Europe that later turn out poorly. Their development is stagnated leading to diminished value on the market. For the average Ghanaian player, the considerations in a transfer are purely financial which is understandable.

There is very little factoring about playing time, development as well as money. The result is the litany of disappointing transfer business highly talented Ghanaian players have been engaged in over the past half-decade or so.

This is where what I call the Ayew Method is informative.

Ayew's bloodline guaranteed that he would always have a shot at a decent career at Olympique Marseille but that was never taken for granted. After breaking through Ghana's senior national team as a doe-eyed 17 year old, he sought out a learning school by joining Lorient on loan for a season in 2008.

He returned to Marseille a better player but discovered he would not get as many chances in the first team. With a World Cup in the offing, Ayew left Marseille and the Ligue 1 to play for Ligue 2 side Arles Avignon. That was his finishing school as he led the team back to Ligue 1 and also put in impressive performances at the World Cup in 2010.
With experience and his added value from the World Cup, Marseille had no choice than to make him an integral part of their team.

Fast forward to 2015 and Ayew had come to the end of his impressive Marseille career. Reports had it Roma were favorites to land him with offers of Champion League football.
Arsenal and West Ham were also in the race at the time. Not a hard choice for the average Ghanaian player but the Ayew Method again differed and a little Welsh club won the race for his signature.

Andre chose Swansea because he knew he would get as many opportunities to establish himself in a difficult league while still getting paid. Success there would mean he could move to a bigger club on his own terms and hey presto! A year later he has done just that by joining West Ham at a definitive time in the history of the club.

The Ayew method is not hard to apply. It only takes a sound advisor, a player willing to make sacrifices and genuine talent to boot. I hope a lot more Ghanaian players take that path.

Godfred Akoto Boafo/