Pockets brimming with cash from the sale of Christian Benteke, Aston Villa go steaming into the transfer market in search of a striker.
With the coffers boosted to the tune of £32.5m, it’s probable Tim Sherwood will sign more than one frontman to increase his side’s goalscoring capabilities and help defy odds of 11/4 that say the Villans will be relegated.
Reports in France indicate the first of these will be Lorient star Jordan Ayew, who will cost £9m.
Younger brother of new Swansea signing Andre Ayew, the 23-year-old enjoyed his best season in front of goal last time around, notching 13 in 28 appearances across all competitions.
Of this baker’s dozen, 12 came in Ligue 1, equating to almost a quarter of lowly Lorient’s 44 seasonal strikes.
This is five greater than his second-best return in France’s top division, which stands at seven from 35 outings.
It came during one of his four-and-a-half years at Marseille, where he struggled to establish himself as a centre-forward.
Moving to a team based in the lower reaches of the French league enabled him to nail down this central berth and he flourished as a result.
Ayew’s tally last time around was one short of that managed by Benteke, meaning if deployed as a direct replacement for the Belgium international, it stands to reason the Ghanaian will contribute goals.
Unlike Benteke, however, the 23-year-old does not possess great aerial prowess, instead relying on his great pace to his advantage.
Keeping the ball is another area where his game needs work; he lost possession on average four times per game in 2014/15, as opposed to the 1.9 his potential predecessor recorded.
What he lacks in height and strength, Ayew makes up for in creativity, assisting three more goals than Benteke did last time around.
Having seen Fabian Delph depart along with the Belgian, Villa have lost a key munitions supplier as well as their leading goal threat.
Ayew’s ability to flourish as a central-striker and increased creativity when compared to Benteke means he can go a long way to replacing both of these lost elements for a less than 25% of the money received for both.