Swans Owners Face Big Decision Over Andre Ayew . . . As Steve Cooper Has His Say

Run for it!

Steve Cooper will be hoping Swansea City’s owners hold their nerve next month when the January sales start and clubs across Europe may look to pick up Andre Ayew on the cheap.

The Ghanaian also showed his overall guiding influence on a team that would lack his savvy professionalism should he depart – sold or on loan next month.

The American owners must decide whether to undermine the club’s chances of making the Championship play-offs by offloading Ayew in order to save his Premier League-size wages, or else bite the bullet until May.

The evidence – such as their willingness to flog Daniel James to Leeds United on the cheap last year – does not point to the outcome Cooper wants, but he was happy to stress the importance of the 29-year-old who had his wages paid by Fenerbahce last season.

“I’ll keep saying it because it’s the truth. He’s been brilliant. He’s a class act both on and off the pitch. First and foremost as a player, he delivers,” said Cooper.

“His attitude and work ethic is right up there and he’s a brilliant personality off the pitch as well in terms of leading the way, helping with the younger players and long may it continue.”

Asked hiw vital it was for the Swans to keep Ayew, Cooper added: “We’re going to get asked the question every single time we do something publicly. Any player who does well at this level is going to create interest to move up to the next level.

“We know Andre can play higher than this level. But I can only go off what I can see and that is a player who’s giving more than 100%, delivering, scoring. You think back to the performance against Blackburn and he’s sliding in tackles in the defensive third and creating counter-attacks himself.

“That tells me he’s really happy. I have a wonderful relationship with him. I like him a lot. I think he likes me a little bit as well! For as long as he’s here playing, the better for the football club. I can’t speak highly enough of him.”

Cooper was also pleased with a performance that was much improved, even if it was aided by Boro’s self-destruction. Straight red cards for Marcus Browne and Paddy McNair enabled Swansea to find light at the end of their own dark tunnel, with only their second home win since August.

Middlesbrough, who, having got themselves back in the match through an equaliser for Marcus Tavernier, had those two players sent off for reckless challenges, as Ayew added to his first half penalty and Sam Surridge sealed the win with a third.

Cooper added: “I’m pleased for the fans. It’s been too long, we know that.

“The team and I have not shied away from the fact we have not won enough games at home this season.

“So, however it came, it was important we won a game here and in general it is a small step back to the team we want to be at the Liberty.

“We need to build on that, and that will be the focus in terms of getting our heads down and working even harder to make sure we are in a better place when we come here again.

“I felt we were the better team and deserved to win, I think we were the team who wanted to play with the ball and try and create proper chances. I would have liked more of it, truth be told.

“We were disappointed to go to 1-1, and I think we can do better as we are giving away goals we shouldn’t be.

“But we’ve responded well with two quick goals, as we did when we conceded against Blackburn, we responded and did not get our heads down.

“We stood up to be counted and responded. In terms of the red cards, with no disrespect to Jonathan Woodgate or Middlesbrough, I thought they were both red cards.

“I thought the second one was worse than the first and we are really pleased Matt Grimes has not got a bad facial injury. That’s my personal opinion, and I thought the penalty was a penalty.

“But I want to focus on our attitude and commitment, we are delighted for the supporters and the staff who work hard here as everyone wants a team that wins at home.

“That’s what we should be doing and that’s my focus, and the supporters were the first people we spoke about as a group in the dressing room.”

The post Swans Owners Face Big Decision Over Andre Ayew . . . As Steve Cooper Has His Say appeared first on Dai Sport.

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Graham is a well known sports writer in Wales. He shares with the Eye stories on his other blog at http://www.dai-sport.com