By Sammie Frimpong
Many a lad would love to emulate his father, especially if that dad is a retired footballing legend who featured at the echelon of the beautiful game and played a starring role in an ultimately successful Uefa Champions League final.
TIME UP | Ayew should consider leaving OM sooner than later
There comes a time, though, when this son, Andre Ayew, ought to realise that dream is not worth living anymore; a time when Dede must leave the 'family coop' and spread his wings some more.
Six years spent on the books of Olympique Marseille - the French club with whom his dad Abedi Ayew ‘Pele’ attained global acclaim in the 90s - has seen the youngster earn his stripes and mature into the masterful, nearly complete midfielder he is now.
Sidelined in his early days and regularly farmed out on loan deals, Ayew's progress under Marseille's watch was catalyzed by his skippering Ghana's Black Satellites to conquest at the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in 2009, and his value to Les Phoceens' cause has increased exponentially ever since.
Indeed the left-footed has achieved considerable success with the Stade Velodrome outfit in recent years, helping them to a hatful of domestic triumphs during the era of current France coach Didier Deschamps.
Even so, any dreams of imitating his famous father's grandest feat in the sky-blue and white of Marseille - conquering Europe, that is - is, of course, quite far-fetched, and appears even less likely in a season that has seen France's sole European champions suffer. Elie Baup's side has huffed and puffed this term and has very little to show for it. Margarita Louis-Dreyfus’ (owner) unit has lost all four Champions League group stage matches thus far and, 12 weeks into the current Ligue 1 campaign, the team’s fifth-place standing on the league log certainly compromises their chances of even making the next edition of Europe's elite club football competition.
In all the gloominess and mediocrity, however, Ayew has proved a glowing beacon of brilliance, netting in each leg of Marseille's back-to-back losses in Europe to Italy's Napoli. In recognition of his good work, the lad has been declared Marseille's best player for October and, juxtaposing the continuing quality of his own output to those of his team-mates, the Ligue 1 side might as well accumulate the Player of the Month awards for the remainder of the season and hand them all to the 23-year-old in advance. Those aside, there seems hardly anything else the nine-time domestic top flight winners can offer an ever-blossoming Ayew.
Wherever he eventually opts to move should be a pond infinitely bigger than the one he currently wades in at the Stade Velodrome, though, because for a fact, Dede has outgrown L'OM
The player certainly would not be shorn of suitors the very minute he decides to walk. England seems a plausible destination, with the likes of Newcastle United and Arsenal having been named as potential employers in the past. Both clubs have fine French connections which could help the bustling Lille-born winger settle very well. Alternatively, a transfer to Ayew's childhood club, Liverpool, could be on the cards. A good showing at the 2014 World Cup could help raise Ayew's profile and earn him a few more zeros in transfer fees, making next summer the most ideal period to time a probable departure, with only 18 months remaining on his current contract with the 10-time record Coupe de France winners.
A move across the English Channel should suit Ayew and his fortes just fine, but he could also have his sights set elsewhere. Wherever he eventually opts to move should be a pond infinitely bigger than the one he currently wades in at the Stade Velodrome, though, because for a fact, Dede has outgrown L'OM.