Swansea City’s ability to complete a deal for Atletico Madrid attacker Borja Baston is thought to be all that stands in the way of Andre Ayew’s £20m transfer to West Ham United.
The Ghanaian enjoyed an excellent debut season in the Premier League last time around, scoring 12 and assisting two more to help the Swans steer clear of relegation, but the solution to the Irons’ long-running striker search he is not.
Ayew filled in as an occasional centre-forward last season, though this was more to do with Swansea’s lack of alternatives as opposed to positional preference.
Recognised line leaders have been the subject of well-documented West Ham interest this summer, with Carlos Bacca and Alexandre Lacazette among those linked with a move to east London.
Acquiring a proven goalscorer is clearly a top transfer priority of Slaven Bilic, but 2015/16 was the most prolific of Ayew’s career to date; he’s a far cry from a guaranteed 20-goals-a-season.
At the London Stadium he’ll join forces with a host of players who operate best in and around an orthodox line-leader.
Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli and Gokhan Tore currently compete for three spots behind Bilic’s solo striker.
The latter three were acquired either permanently or on loan this summer, suggesting they all have prominent parts to play this season, but the future of the former remains uncertain.
After starring for France on their run to the final of Euro 2016, plenty of Europe’s biggest clubs allegedly took an interest in Payet. The Sun have since published an interview in which the 29-year-old stated he was ‘100% staying’ at West Ham, though these claims were contradicted by his agent the following day.
Club chairman David Gold told the BBC the French winger isn’t for sale, but also conceded he’d listen to offers north of the £50m threshold.
Speculation linking Payet with a transfer from West Ham has simmered down in the interim, but these mixed messages suggest it’s not impossible that he’ll be sold and the likelihood has certainly increased with the pending arrival of a goalscoring winger in Ayew.