Jordan Ayew’s permanent signing (£2.5m) may not have been the biggest story of Crystal Palace’s transfer window, though the Ghanian did justify his place in the squad, as we’ll take a look at in our latest instalment of the Unsung Hero feature.
With backs against the wall after a fairly quiet transfer window at Selhurst Park in terms of incomings, a Wilfried Zaha-less Palace were preparing for a tough season and a tough opener versus Everton.
Ayew, 27, had big shoes to fill in the match, playing slightly off Christian Benteke as a forward, in the position Zaha would tend to play.
Statistically, he made quite the impact, per WhoScored. Ayew lead the line for Palace in terms of most accurate passes, with a passing completion percentage of 70.6. Elsewhere, he also produced one key pass for Palace – as high as anyone else in the team – also joined by Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke, James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic.
Another significant stat for Ayew was his ability to win fouls for Palace. He averaged being fouled five times over the game, which could be important for the Eagles this year with players such as Gary Cahill, James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho ready to come back into the side and potentially be a threat from set-pieces.
Football.London also agreed that Jordan Ayew showed great promise for Palace during his opener of the season, giving him the joint highest score of all of the Palace players with a healthy eight. They wrote: “He put a shift in and worked hard for the team, with little reward. Had one good chance early in the second half, but was denied by Jordan Pickford. But he earned a good reception from the crowd for his efforts. 8”.
Whether or not he is first choice for Palace this season remains to be seen. Still, this game has shown the Palace fans that they have someone more than capable of coming on and performing to Premier League standards; someone who has the ability to link well with midfielders as well as get in behind defenders and be a general nuisance to the opposition.
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