There is no doubt that 2017 has been a mixed year for Andre Ayew. The Black Stars deputy captain had both his highs and lows in the last 12 months.
Currently in his second season at West Ham United, Ayew’s outputs can best be described as fair.
On the international scene too he has not had the best of years, with the Black Stars failing to win the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and also failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
But in all, the former Swansea attacker has had his moments, and 2017 was definitely a year that he really had to show both physical and mental strength to get his career going.
Here are five of Andre Ayew’s moments in the year 2017 (the good and bad):
1. Becoming West Ham’s top scorer in the season
Andre Ayew has not enjoyed the best of years at West Ham United, at least not yet. However, despite his struggles he has chipped in with important goals for the Hammers.
At a point his six goals made him the club’s top scorer in the ongoing season, taking him above star names like Javier ‘Chicarito’ Hernandez, Andy Carroll and Manuel Lazini.
Ayew might not have been at his best throughout 2017 but his moments came in front of goal, where he was really impactful for West Ham.
2. Being dropped from the Black Stars squad
Perhaps one of the biggest lows for Ayew in 2017 was being dropped from the Black Stars squad for consecutive international fixtures.
The 27-year-old started the year as a regular for the Ghana national team, and was even being tipped to be named substantive captain of the side. However, things quickly changed getting to the end of the year and his pulling out of the Black Stars’ game against Congo sounded suspicious to the technical handlers.
Ayew has subsequently not been given a call-up since September and that should certainly go down as one of his lowest moments of the year.
3. Becoming a benchwarmer at West Ham
When Ayew joined West Ham United for £20 million in the summer of 2016, nobody ever expected that he would be struggling to earn a place in the first team.
However, an injury on his debut made sure he missed three months out and by the time he returned he could not really make any notable impact before the season ended.
Fast forward this season and things have not improved that much. West Ham’s poor form saw erstwhile manager Slaven Bilic shuffle his pack a few times, leaving Ayew in and out of the team most times.
Consequently, he often found himself on the bench, although most of his goals have come whenever he was introduced into the game. But it is definitely a low point that he is not starting as many games.
4. His goal that took Ghana to the AFCON semis
Certainly, one of the biggest highs for Ayew in 2017 was his strike against DR Congo that took Ghana into the semi-finals of the AFCON in January.
With the game deadlocked at 1-1 and with just about twelve minutes of play to go, Ghana won a penalty.
Amidst the nervousness and the pressure that came with it, Ayew stepped up, showed great composure and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give Ghana the all-important lead. His goal took Ghana into the semi-finals and it will no doubt rank as one of his greatest moments in the year.
5. Being accused of feigning an injury
No player likes to be doubted when it comes to loyalty, and so will Ayew feel when his passion for Ghana was questioned after pulling out of the Black Stars’ World Cup qualifier against Congo in September through in jury.
However, most Ghanaians did not believe him and he was accused of making up the story in order not to play in the game against Congo.
In truth, that was part of the reason why Kwesi Appiah dropped him for subsequent international assignments, and it will go down as one of Ayew’s low moments in the year under review.
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