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Andre Ayew’s goal against Barnsley in the first leg of the Championship play-offs on Monday has taken him a step closer to writing his own piece of history by helping Swansea City back to the Premier League.
The Ghana captain has been a key player for the Welsh club, scoring 17 league goals and adding four assists to help secure the Swans that play-off spot.
Ayew insists he is happy with his footballing journey so far that has seen him rise through the ranks at French club Marseille which led to his first successful move to Swansea.
Since then he has had to endure struggles at West Ham and on loan at Turkish side Fenerbahce before finding his form once again on his return to Swansea.
“Some people will say maybe my career has dwindled because I’m playing in the championship and let me say there were offers to go and play in the Premier and I could have jumped at the first offer that came in, but no,” he told BBC Sport Africa.
“Sometimes it’s not every offer that comes that you have to take, you first look at your happiness and then consult your family and the team and see what is best before making a decision.
“I really don’t think I have lost anything, look at my numbers both here and at the national team, they are getting better and I’m happy for the journey I took.”
Even at the age of 31 Ayew admits he is still on a football learning curve.
“I don’t know how this season will end but my experience has guided a lot of these young players here, they have learnt a thing or two from me and off-course I have also picked up some things from them too,” he explained.
“I have played at the world cup and in the Champions league I think it’s important that I share some of my experiences with the ones also starting their journey.
“We have made the play-offs twice already and if we go up what would you say? And even if we don’t go up, I will know that I gave it my all and just didn’t make the jump when things got tough.”
Black Star ambitions
As well as his club ambitions Ayew is still desperate for success with the Ghana national team.
His next chance comes in January when he is to lead the Black Stars in their latest search for the Africa Cup of Nations trophy that has eluded them since 1982.
Their last attempt was a meek exit at the hands of Tunisia at the round of sixteen in 2019, an exit that still troubles Ayew.
“I take full responsibility for that campaign as the captain it was unacceptable and we have spoken about this as a team,” he said
“I still hurt from that but as captain the pain is good because its pain that doesn’t just go away it’s a pain that reminds us that we owe our people the trophy or at least our all.
“We have qualified for Cameroon and we have to prepare and be ready because we have a very good core now and with this core and a little guidance and sacrifice-we can finally achieve our aim.”
Emerging from dad’s shadow
On a more personal level Ayew reckons that finishing this season with a place in the Premier League will be an achievement to match some of the great success of his dad as well as laying down a marker for his own children.
Ayew junior has always had to put up with the inevitable comparisons to his dad, the three-time African Footballer of the Year Abedi Ayew Pele, whose time at Marseille saw twice him win the French league title as well as the European Champions League.
“You know it’s not easy to follow in the footsteps of a great man and even more so when that great man is your father,” he admitted.
“But that is life, you have to deal with the circumstances you find yourself in and for me life is a reflection of football too.
“Sometimes you find yourself in good circumstances and other times you have to struggle and fight to get what you want and that is the situation I am in at the moment.
“A unique situation at a unique club that has given me its all and a club that I have grown to love and willing to give my all to make history.
“I know the price of what we are going into but I also know the value of what we can achieve and I if can do it, will be a very big achievement for myself and my family too.”
His next chance to add another success to his list will be on Saturday in the second leg of the play-offs at home to Barnsley, a game that Swansea fans will be able to cheer for him once again.