Jordan Ayew to start pre-season with Swansea instead of reporting for international duty

Graphic Sports - Jordan Ayew will report for the start of pre-season training with the rest of his Swansea City team-mates on Monday a...


Graphic Sports - Jordan Ayew will report for the start of pre-season training with the rest of his Swansea City team-mates on Monday after being withdrawn from the Ghana squad for their upcoming friendlies.

Forward Ayew enjoyed a strong finish to last season after moving to the Liberty in January, scoring his first goal for the club in the final-day victory over West Brom.

The 25-year-old was included in Kwesi Appiah's squad for the African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia earlier this month.

But the Black Stars coach had also planned to call on the former Aston Villa and Marseille man for their friendlies against Mexico and the United States, which take place on Thursday and Saturday of this week.

However, unlike the Ethiopia fixture, they fall outside FIFA's designated international window, the next of which occurs at the start of September, and, as such, clubs are not obliged to release players to join up with their national squads.

While the two games take place prior to Swansea returning to their Fairwood base to begin preparations for the 2017-18 campaign on Monday, the club do not want to risk any potential injury or have Ayew rack up thousands of miles of travelling at a time then they would want him to be fresh in reporting for duty.

Brother Andre, now at West Ham after a season at Swansea, and Leicester's Daniel Amartey have withdrawn from the squad for similar reasons.

Head coach Paul Clement praised Ayew for his selfless work in support of Fernando Llorente during the closing weeks of last season, after the Swans boss switched to having two up front for the last five games of the campaign, from which the Welsh club secured 13 points.

"His physical data was exceptional, he was right at the top over those games, and he gave us a really nice balance," said Clement.

"We’ve got Fernando with his back to goal and linking the play, then you’ve got Ayew stretching things.

"When you’re playing two strikers, that’s what you’re looking for; one who can come short, and one who can go behind. That causes the back four problems.

"They don’t know whether to go tight or drop off. It’s something else that’s been effective.

"He came close to having more goals two. He had two good opportunities against Stoke. There was one where it hit the inside of Jack Butland’s heel and on any other day that would have gone in.

"At Manchester United he had a couple of good chances as well. He did a lot of things right."

The Ghanaian is likely to face competition for his place this term with Tammy Abraham set to join the Swans on a season-long loan from Chelsea.

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