Have the Ayew brothers done enough to fire Swansea City to safety?

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The Swans were destroyed by Manchester City at the weekend, but can they yet breathe easy?


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Jordan and Andre Ayew have become all too familiar with the bottom half of the Premier League table since the duo moved to England from France in the summer of 2015.

The former, of course, was relegated with Aston Villa in his maiden campaign in England, but was part of the Swansea City side that pulled clear of the dropzone last term after some late-season heroics under Paul Clement.

Dede has had things a little easier, although he certainly hasn’t stumbled across the kind of success that appeared to await him when he left Marseille—originally for the Liberty Stadium.

Despite reported interest from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as a host of teams around Europe, he opted for a modest Swans side that finished 12th during his maiden campaign.

His form secured him a move to West Ham United, but the Hammers fell well short of expectations last term as they adapted to life in the London Stadium, and ended the year in 11th.

Andre Ayew of West Ham United

Things got worse before they got better for the Irons this season, as Slaven Bilic was replaced with David Moyes in November, and the new man wasted little time in sending Dede back to Swansea during the January transfer window.

Two and a half years after they’d left Ligue 1—seemingly primed to take on the world—the Ayew brothers found themselves together in Britain for the first time and again facing up to the prospect of a relegation battle.

By the time Dede returned back at Swansea, the club were already on an upward curve under Clement’s successor Carlos Carvalhal.

The Portuguese boss had taken 10 points from his first five matches, and while they haven’t maintained that form, they’ve done enough to pull themselves four points clear of the dropzone.

While Andre is yet to get off the mark back in South Wales—although he did contribute a fine assist as his former club West Ham were put to the sword in early March—Jordan has played a decisive part in pulling Swansea clear.

With Tammy Abraham perhaps not truly adapting to life in the top tier, and with Wilfried Bony sidelined with injury, Jordan has stepped up to become the Swans’ key threat.

Carlos Carvalhal

He’s a player who appears to be enjoying a new lease of life since Carvalhal’s arrival, and currently tops Swansea’s scoring charts with seven from 32.

It’s telling that all but one of Jordan’s league goals have come since Clement’s departure on December 20.

Ayew’s first four goals under Carvalhal directly resulted in four points and also saw the Swans past Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup.

He also netted in the 3-1 victory over Arsenal, and after failing to net in four games, struck as Sheffield Wednesday were dispatched 2-0 in a cup replay.

That game was arguably the start of his true purple patch, with Jordan netting three times in four games as Swansea defeated West Ham and held Everton at home.

The only blemish in that run—and it was quite a significant blemish—was the straight red card he received after 11 minutes against Huddersfield Town, with the Jack Army taking just one point from their next three matches.

Ayew’s form has prompted praise from his teammates, with Andy King just one Swan to have lauded the Ghana international’s impact.

Jordan Ayew

“Jordan’s been brilliant, not just with his goals but also his work-rate and everything else he brings to the team,” King told the Swansea website.

“We were all pleased to see him score in his first game back,” he added after Ayew netted in the draw with Everton. “Hopefully, he can stay fit and keep scoring between now and the end of the season.

“He has shown he has the quality to do that and his goals have been important for us.”

There’s so much that’s gone right for Swansea since Carvalhal’s arrival.

Jordan Ayew | 2017-18 Premier League stats

The Portuguese coach organised the defence while still ensuring the full-backs provided width. He ensured that Swansea packed men into the box where possible, while relying on a swift and aggressive counter attack when called upon.

The attitude of the team appears revamped, with the players now approaching games with a zip and an intensity that was lacking under Clement.

However, it would be wrong to say their race is run and that Carvalhal’s impact and Jordan’s goals have ensured Swansea’s survival.

Jordan Ayew Swansea City Wolves

Indeed, the club’s 5-0 demolition by Manchester City on Sunday exposed the limitations that still exist and may come as a hammer blow to the team’s morale.

There are also considerable challenges in store.

Beyond facing a Chelsea who have lost just one of their last five matches (despite the negativity around the club) they also have to go to Bournemouth, who haven’t lost to any side outside the top seven since being beaten by Watford back in August.

In their final two fixtures, they host Southampton and Stoke, the two sides immediately below them in the table.

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While the latter two have, at times, appeared to be resigned to their fate, if they can pick up points in the coming two games to remain in touching distance with the Swans, then those two final fixtures take on gigantic importance.

A glance at the games to come will remind any Swansea players—who are themselves without a win in six in all competitions—that there’s still much work to be done in order to beat the drop.

Jordan has performed some heroics to date this term, but you suspect that another decisive contribution or two might be required from him—or Andre—before the season reaches its conclusion.

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