Andre Ayew: The Marseille Forward Auditioning For The Nasri Role At Arsenal

Andre Ayew arrives in London next week with Marseille for what could be an audition to fill Arsenal's gaping void left by Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
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Andre Ayew arrives in London next week with Marseille for what could be an audition to fill Arsenal's gaping void left by Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

Down in the south of France the Stade Velodrome is not an easy place to visit. Usually the stadium is rocking to the sound of over 60,000 Marseillies baying for blood. For the other 19 teams in Ligue 1 this is a once a season experience, for the 11 players wearing the motto “Droit Au But” on their chest this it comes at least 20 times a campaign.

The fans in the Velodrome are a fickle bunch, one minute they are behind the team the next they are partaking in a silent protest at the clubs performances this season. Some great players have blessed the OM shirt and constantly the fans are searching for their next hero.

Jean-Pierre Papin, Chris Waddle, Fabien Barthez and Franck Ribery are all players that Les Phocéens have known as legends, but now with their side sitting 14 points back from league leader PSG it is time for a new hero to step up and make himself a legend. So far this season Andre Ayew has answered the call.

At the tender age of 21 this French born winger has over 32 appearances for Ghana and over 50 for his club. When a young Andre made his debut as a 90th minute substitute in Valenciennes it would have been a proud moment in the Ayew household. Father Abedi Ayew, otherwise known as Abedi Pele, played over 100 games for the club winning three league titles and the Champions League in 1993. Pretty big shoes to fill.

The next season the winger played under the guidance of mercurial coach Christian Gourcuff on loan at Lorient. Playing the whole season in Brittany was a positive step for Ayew and the signs were there of his continuing development. The coaching staff at the club were still not convinced he was ready for the first team and another spell on loan was on the cards. This time at Ligue 2 outfit Arles-Avignon.

It would be another successful year for Ayew, helping Arles-Avignon win a surprised promotion to Ligue 1 the Ghanaian played 26 games scoring four goals and setting up another three. After two loan spells Didier Deschamps gave Ayew the news he was waiting for. He would be recalled to Marseille and given significant minutes in the first team. It’s safe to say he hasn’t looked back.

His style fits very well within Arsene Wenger’s philosophies

Ayew has become an instant success at the Velodrome scoring 13 goals in his first full season and becoming a must pick player in Deschamps' side. The key to his success is his versatility. Able to play either on the left or right of a front three, he even has the foundations to lead the Marseille attack.

At times last season he even played in the midfield, showing great strength and desire, in no way did he look out of place in the centre of the park. Able to beat defenders with an excellent turn of pace, he can spontaneously drop his shoulder and ghost past players with ease. He’sdeadly from distance and a predator around the box.

Only problem seems to be when he’s not quite on top form he can go missing from games, although this has to be expected a little for a flair player still at a young age. It’s hard to remember how young he still is as he’s been around for four years now.

With Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabergas now off to pastures new is was inevitable that the Arsenal scouts would point to Ayew as a potential acquisition since his style fits very well within Arsene Wenger’s philosophies at the North London club.

There was talk of Ayew becoming a replacement for his former team-mate Nasri after the Frenchman moved to Manchester City and it looks like the move could be reignited either in January or in the summer. Marseille travel to the Emirates next week and there is no doubt Andre will be looking to add to his six goals so far with a potential audition for supporters who could be watching him more regularly in the future.

His rising stock certifies that Ayew is unlikely to go on and play as many games for Marseille as his father managed yet if he can guide the club past Arsenal and on to a successful season there is no doubt he will be the second of three Ayews loved on the Velodrome terraces.

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