The youngest of Abedi Ayew’s sons needs to avoid one of his elder brothers like the plague if he’s to reach his full potential
By: Sammie Frimpong
It’s been two years since siblings Andre and Jordan Ayew last wore the same shirt in each other’s company at club level. They did at Olympique Marseille for a considerable while until the younger Ayew, Jordan, left for Lorient in 2014.
A season after that parting, both were on the move from France across the English Channel in summer of 2015, landing at different destinations on the British Isles — Andre at Welsh club Swansea City, Jordan at England-based Aston Villa — and, after a year during which the brothers enjoyed torrid experiences with their respective Premier League employers, fate threatens to box them together once more.
Andre’s Swansea, following a bright start to 2015/16, ultimately did enough to retain their top-flight status in the end with just a little comfort, while Villa — thoroughly lame from start to finish — weren’t so fortunate as Jordan huffed and puffed in vain. To the credit of the duo, though, they emerged their respective clubs’ topscorers with 19 goals between them.
Earlier this week, Andre was rescued from his ‘plight’ in South Wales by high-flying West Ham, with boss Slaven Bilic parting with a club record £20.5m for the Ghanaian, and if circulating reports are to be believed, the other Ayew could also arrive at the Olympic Stadium before activity in the current window is concluded.
And, indeed, that isn’t in itself a bad idea — really, who doesn’t love re-unions?
Still, there is reason for Jordan to tread with caution and not jump at the prospect out of sheer sentiment. Andre’s presence in the same squad as Jordan has often proved a rather huge disadvantage for the 24-year-old. In the line of footballing Ayews (and it’s quite a queue), Jordan — ignoring Rahim Ayew who has been reduced to something of a footnote in the family’s annals — isn’t the most renowned and best-celebrated. He still pales by some distance behind dad Abedi and brother Andre, and it’s unarguably the latter who casts the darkest shadow over Jordan’s profile, given that he is a contemporary and only a couple of years older. Jordan came off worse when the pair represented Marseille in the not-too-distant past and the situation isn’t too dissimilar often when they turn out for the Black Stars.
It’s that very trap Jordan would do well to avoid by not falling for whatever bait West Ham — and Andre — are waving, however enticing. At this stage in his career when he’s steadily shedding the weight of his famous surname, Jordan can ill afford to be seen choking in his big brother’s shadow, not when Villa are seemingly offering him the lead role in the club’s charge for a quick return to the Premier League — and certainly not when, in seeking a place in the Hammers‘ attack, the forward would have to fend off stiff competition from the likes of Enner Valencia, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho and could thus end up well down the pecking order.
Jordan’s future may yet be wrapped in claret and blue but, for his own sake — and especially while Andre remains at West Ham — it should be Villa’s colours.