Jordan Ayew of Ghana gets away from Mamoutou N’Diaye of Mali during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Ghana and Mali at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 21 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Tuesday Apr 11, 2017. 19:00
Swansea City will be relegated if they don’t get Fernando Llorente back to lead their attack instead of Jordan Ayew, according to football analyst Jamie Redknapp.
The Black Stars striker joined the Swans from Aston Villa in the January transfer window, but he has not scored a goal in eight Premier League appearances since his move.
In the last three matches, Ayew has played as a centre forward in the absence of injured Fernando Llorente. The Spaniard is set to return to the starting XI after appearing as a substitute this past weekend in a 1-0 loss to West Ham United.
And Redknapp believes Llorente leading the line ahead of Ayew will make a big difference for the Welsh side.
“Llorente’s return from an ankle injury after half time against West Ham is a glimmer of hope for Swansea in their battle to beat the drop,” Redknapp wrote in his weekly Mail column.
“Llorente has struck up a great relationship with Gylfi Sigurdsson since Paul Clement arrived. The pair are good enough to play for a top-half team but when Llorente is ruled out there is nobody to feed off Sigurdsson’s superb supply line.
“In Clement’s three games in which Llorente has not started, Swansea have scored just once. They do not have the same presence up front when Jordan Ayew leads the line — as was the case in the first half at the London Stadium on Saturday.
“With Llorente fit and firing, Swansea have a fighting chance of beating the drop. Without him, they go down.”